Over four years removed from their first clash, UFC stars Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will square off again – this time for the UFC bantamweight championship. UFC officials announced today that on Saturday, July 2 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Cruz will defend the UFC bantamweight title against his heated rival Faber in one of the most anticipated title bouts of the summer. The 26-year-old Cruz is out to avenge a 2007 featherweight title loss to “The California Kid” and now looks to settle the score in the highly-entertaining 135-pound division.
“There is no love lost between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber and they are both fired up to not only fight again, but to fight for the UFC bantamweight title,” UFC President Dana White said. “The bantamweight division is one of the most exciting weight classes in this sport and Dominick and Urijah will both bring it for five rounds.”
Undefeated in the bantamweight division, Dominick Cruz (17-1) offers one of the most complete skill sets in all of mixed martial arts. With unorthodox footwork, precision striking and tremendous wrestling, “The Dominator” has defeated the likes of Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez (twice) and Scott Jorgensen. Now, the champion sets out to prove that his loss to Faber in 2007 was nothing more than a minor hurdle on the path to becoming the best 135-pound fighter in history.
A former featherweight champion who has since won back-to-back fights at his new weight of 135 pounds, Urijah Faber (25-4) is a pioneer in the lighter weight classes. “The California Kid” holds victories over the likes of Eddie Wineland, Takeya Mizugaki and Jens Pulver (twice), and believes he’ll score a second victory over his bitter rival on July 2. By doing so, he hopes to earn his second title in two different weight classes.
“I’m super excited for my UFC title shot,” Faber said. “I’ve been waiting my entire career for this and I’m not going to let Dominick get in my way. It’s a great matchup for me and I’m taking the UFC belt back to Sacramento!”
UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2 will also feature an outstanding middleweight clash between Chris “The Crippler” Leben and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva, a lightweight contest pitting rising contender Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman, a light heavyweight bout between Ryan Bader and former champion Tito Ortiz, and an explosive welterweight bout between Dong Hyun Kim and Carlos Condit.
“Wandy came and asked for this fight and Leben wanted it just as bad,” said White. “This is gonna be fun! When you add in the Siver-Wiman and Kim-Condit fights, and the fact that Tito will be fighting Ryan Bader to keep his career alive, it’s hard not to get excited for UFC 132.”
Known for his warrior spirit and heavy hands, Chris Leben (21-7) has been vocal in his desire to fight Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1, 1 NC). On July 2, the man who holds wins over notables such as Yoshihiro Akiyama, Aaron Simpson and Jorge Santiago finally gets his date with “The Axe Murderer.” No stranger to all-out wars, the 36-year-old Curitiba native will look to add to his impressive resume with a win over “The Crippler.”
Riding a three-fight winning streak, Matt Wiman (13-5) looks to climb one step closer to a shot at the lightweight title with a win this July. To do so, the gritty 27-year-old must best fierce kickboxer Dennis Siver (18-7). The 32-year-old, who defeated the fast-rising George Sotiropolous at UFC 127 in February to extend his win streak to three, is a devastating body striker and can finish fights in a hurry. Expect an exciting bout when he meets Wiman in Las Vegas.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz (fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif./16-8-1) returns to Las Vegas hoping to keep his illustrious career alive when he meets wrestling powerhouse Ryan Bader (12-1). A vicious ground and pound artist, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” owns wins over some of the sport’s all-time best, including Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin. To fuel another run in the UFC’s talented 205-pound division, the 36-year-old finds himself in a must-win situation against the heavy-handed Bader, a two-time Division I All-American.
Welterweight standout Dong Hyun Kim (14-0-1, 1 NC) battles Carlos Condit (26-5) in a pivotal 170-pound collision at UFC 132. The 29-year-old South Korean remains unbeaten in his UFC career and holds wins over the likes of Nate Diaz and Amir Sadollah. He’ll be in for his toughest bout yet when he meets Condit, a winner of three straight who most recently knocked out Dan Hardy at UFC 120 last October.
Tickets for UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2 go on sale Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $800, $600, $400, $250, $125, and $75. Tickets are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at mgmgrand.com or ticketmaster.com. Tickets are subject to convenience and service fees.
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, May 5 at 10 a.m. PT via the website ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, May 6 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through ufc.com.