With the 15th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” set to debut Friday
on FX, there’s no love lost between coaches Dominick
Cruz and Urijah
Faber dropped a unanimous decision to Cruz last July, but during a
recent appearance on HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” Faber was quick to
remind the UFC bantamweight champion that he submitted him with a
guillotine choke back in 2007.
“He’s alive right now because there’s rules in MMA, and I had to
release his neck and let him breathe,” Faber said. “So you're
welcome, Dominick Cruz, for giving you life and letting you live.
Next time I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to let you
live, but it's going to be painful.”
Naturally, Cruz didn’t appreciate Faber’s comments.
“He can say whatever he wants, but he’s just saying ignorant things
because I get under his skin,” Cruz told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He starts trying to go for
the jugular, but that was one of the dumbest things he could have
said because he’s been allowed to live several times. Tyson
Griffin let him live. Mike Brown let him live. Jose Aldo
chopped his leg off, so I’d be fighting him with no leg right now.
He’s just saying stupid things to try to hype things up. It just
makes no sense.”
The Griffin loss was Faber’s first in MMA. It took place about a
year and a half before he beat Cruz.
“If there weren’t rules in MMA, back in 2005, Tyson Griffin put him
to sleep with a knockout and he would have finished him right then
and there, and I would have never fought Urijah Faber,” Cruz said.
“There would have never been a rivalry. There would have never been
nothing. This is a sport. This isn’t a death match. If it’s a death
match, I’ll grab a pitchfork and stab him through his chest. It’s
not a death match, man. … It’s a sport. It’s a sporting event.”
Faber has said Cruz is a good fighter. However, he believes the
champion focuses on scoring points and doesn’t pose any real danger
in the Octagon.
“He caught me in a submission in 2007. He beat me. I never made one
excuse for it,” Cruz said. “I go and I beat him, and he has nothing
but excuses. It’s a sport. You can win by points or you can win by
finish. I did not finish him. I beat him by keeping him going
backwards the entire fight, landing more punches than him and
getting more takedowns than him. Yes, it’s hard to finish him. He’s
one of the best fighters on the planet and so am I. He didn’t
finish me either.”
Cruz expects a decisive finale, though, when they meet a third time
on July 7 at UFC 148.
“I’m going to put a whooping on him, and this time I’m going to
finish him,” he said. “I’m tired of hearing him run his mouth with
that big chin of his.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 47:00).