Even though Dominick Cruz has solidified himself atop the bantamweight division, there are still a few challenges ahead for the world’s top-ranked 135-pound fighter and the biggest one is a rematch with the only fighter to defeat him, Urijah Faber.
A Cruz-Faber rematch has been on the tongue of just about everyone since the champion dismantled Scott Jorgensen during the final WEC show.
Cruz says he wants to face Faber next, and would love for the fight to come at the end of the newest season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“I definitely want that fight,” Cruz told MMAWeekly Radio about a rematch with Faber. “It’s something I’ll take in stride. I prefer to have that fight fighting for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ as a coach, that’s something I was really going for. It’s pretty much up to the UFC. My job is to fight and to fight the best guys in the world, and I feel like beating Urijah is just a way to solidify that for myself.”
Faber defeated Cruz back in 2007 in a featherweight title bout, and the two fighters have never quite mended fences. Cruz is actually happy that Faber has so much to say about him because it keeps his name in the headlines.
“The bottom line is he’s become my biggest fan in a sense because I hear ‘Dominick Cruz’ out of his mouth more on any show ever. In a sense, thank you,” Cruz said to Faber.
The trash talk has already heated up between the two fighters, and while Cruz likes to be as detached as possible and leave emotion out of any fight, he’s going to save up a few extra punches for Faber if they meet again.
“You do remember that trash talk when you’re in the fight with somebody,” Cruz admitted. “You remember everything that they say to you over the 10-week process of camp, all the trash that they’re saying and all the negative that they’re saying about you, and when I go in there and fight, I let all that out.”
The biggest factors now are waiting for UFC president Dana White to make his decision regarding who he wants to coach the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and Cruz opting whether or not to have surgery on his hand.
Prior to the fight with Jorgensen, Cruz revealed on MMAWeekly.com Radio that a nagging hand injury that didn’t necessarily affect his fights was something that he needed to get repaired and it would likely sideline him for four to six months.
If the Faber fight is offered or a coaching stint on “The Ultimate Fighter,” Cruz has some tough decisions ahead of him whether to have the surgery now or put it off till later.
“I’m still talking to my coaches about it and we’ve got to see who’s going to be next on the roster. I just got back from out of town today so this week we should sit down and probably get into that stuff for sure,” Cruz said.
The champion will enjoy his holidays and then wait to hear from the UFC to find out exactly what the next defense of his bantamweight title will entail.