After winning his UFC debut against Eddie Wineland last month at UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber will get his shot at the UFC bantamweight championship held by champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 132 on July 2, 2011. Faber appeared this week on Pro MMA Radio, the official radio show of FightLine.com, and talked about his upcoming championship fight with Cruz.
“I would say that definitely in the submission game I’m more of a threat,” said Faber (props to MMAMania for the transcription). “Standing, I have more devastating stand-up than he does and we’re both really elusive. His movement is really unorthodox and unnecessary at times. It really masks what he’s gonna do and mine is really deliberate. I only moved out of the way right when Eddie Wineland was gonna punch me in the face…. He’s got a history of decision wins and I’ve got a history of finishing fights. I think that’s gonna be the difference.”
Faber and Cruz’s fight will be a rematch of their featherweight match-up in 2007, which Faber won via first round submission. While Faber admits that they are both different fighters now, he feels that his first victory gives him an advantage.
“The bottom line is I know he can be beat,” he said. “I found a way to do it once and I can do it again. I’m a much better fighter than I was when we first met. I’ve got a few years under my belt with Master Tong who I hadn’t even met before my fight with Dominick and there’s where you see my stand-up developing. My jiu-jitsu game is much stronger and I feel more competitive at this weight. He’s fighting a much better Urijah and I think that’s gonna get in his head a little bit also.
“He’s a good fighter,” he continued. “There’s no doubt about that. His most impressive fight was against Scotty Jorgensen and also against Joseph (Benavidez). Joseph’s tough. I train with him every day so I know how tough he is. You don’t beat guys like that unless you’ve got some talent. I know he’s improved a lot, but he’s not ready for me.”
Rumors had been circulating that Faber and Cruz would be coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, however with their bout announced, that is obviously not going to happen. Faber said that he knew he was not going to be one of the coaches, and it was just an assumption from the media.
“It was just mostly the media that was assuming. I never heard anything. It was always just kind of an assumption. I kinda of knew pretty far out that he and I were not going to be coaches. You would have heard from the higher-ups that you would have to prepare for something like that, planning ahead so I didn’t think it was gonna happen. ”
UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber takes place on July 2, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.