Though longtime WEC posterboy Urijah Faber recently gave UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz the most difficult title defense of his career in a rematch of a 2007 bout that saw Faber emerge the quick victor, “The California Kid” was passed over for an immediate rubber match with the champ in favor of Demetrius Johnson.
Johnson earned the shot after compiling a four-fighting winning streak capped by a win over Miguel Torres, beating out Faber and the other man with a strong claim to the title, Brian Bowles.
As such, it was recently announced by the UFC that Faber and Bowles would square off next, with the winner to face the winner of Cruz vs. Johnson. UFC president Dana White recently spoke with ESPN.com about the match up.
“Both Urijah and Bowles lost to Cruz,” White said. “The winner of their fight will earn a rematch. Johnson is 9-1, on a four-fight win streak and beat former [bantamweight] champ [Miguel] Torres in his last fight.”
Faber also spoke with ESPN.com about the prospect of facing a fellow former champ in Bowles.
“I definitely want the rematch with Cruz,” Faber said. “It’s a fight that needs to happen. But I’m fine with having another fight going into it. It definitely gives me extra motivation. Beating Brian Bowles is just one step closer to getting that belt. I’m sure Brian Bowles is motivated himself to get another shot.”
Bowles and Faber will meet at UFC 139, which is expected to take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.