Cruz checked in at 134 pounds for his scheduled title defense and anticipated rematch against Faber (135) in the UFC 132 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The eight other men called to main card duty -- including co-headliners Wanderlei Silva (186) and Chris Leben (185) -- also met their contracted weight requirements at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Faber (Pictured, File Photo) defeated Cruz at 145 pounds in March 2007, landing a fight-ending guillotine choke 98 seconds into round one. It remains the only blemish on the otherwise impeccable Cruz resume.
Cruz will enter his UFC debut on the strength of an eight-fight winning streak. The 25-year-old Tucson, Ariz., native last appeared at WEC 53 in December, when he coasted to a unanimous decision over the world-ranked Scott Jorgensen at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. He holds a pair of decision victories over Faber’s Team Alpha Male stablemate, Joseph Benavidez. Cruz trains under Eric Del Fierro at the Alliance MMA gym in Chula Vista, Calif. He was 7-1 inside the WEC.
Faber made his promotional debut at UFC 128 in March, when he outdueled the rugged and underrated Eddie Wineland en route to a unanimous decision at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. A dynamic offensive fighter, the 32-year-old Isla Vista, Calif., native has delivered more than half (13) of his 25 career victories by submission. Wins over onetime WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo, former UFC lightweight titleholder Jens Pulver (twice), 2009 Dream featherweight grand prix winner Bibiano Fernandes and well-respected Japanese standout Takeya Mizugaki anchor Faber’s resume. He wrestled collegiately at the University of California, Davis. Faber has held MMA titles inside the WEC, Gladiator Challenge and King of the Cage promotions.
UFC 132 -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT -- will also feature a light heavyweight duel pitting former champion Tito Ortiz (205) against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader (205), a welterweight tilt pairing onetime WEC titleholder Carlos Condit (170) with the unbeaten Dong Hyun Kim (171) and a lightweight battle matching Dennis Siver (156) against Matt Wiman (156). An hour prior, Spike TV will carry a pair of preliminary fights, as Melvin Guillard (155) locks horns with Shane Roller (155) and George Sotiropoulos (156) squares off with Rafael dos Anjos (155).
Meanwhile, the four remaining preliminary bouts will be streamed on the UFC’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT: Brian Bowles (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (136), Aaron Simpson (185) vs. Brad Tavares (186), Anthony Njokuani (156) vs. Andre Winner (155) and Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Donny Walker (135).
Silva (186) vs. Chris Leben
Tito Ortiz (205) vs. Ryan Bader (205)
Carlos Condit (170) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)
Dennis Siver (156) vs. Matt Wiman (156)
Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Shane Roller (155)
George Sotiropoulos (156) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (155)
Brian Bowles (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (136)
Aaron Simpson (185) vs. Brad Tavares (186)
Anthony Njokuani (156) vs. Andre Winner (155)
Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Donny Walker (135)