UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz avenged his lone career loss earlier this year by defeating Urijah Faber via unanimous decision at UFC 132. Faber had defeated Cruz in 2007 with a first round submission in a bout for the WEC featherweight title.
Now, as Cruz prepares to defend his title against Demetrious Johnson this Saturday at UFC on Versus 6, he discusses that defeat to Faber and how it made him the fighter he is today in his blog for NBC Sports.
“If I was to tell you that the night I suffered my sole professional loss also happened to be the moment I finally believed I could make it as a mixed martial arts, would you believe me? Well, regardless of whether you do or not, it’s true,” Cruz wrote. “That was the moment I knew I could get somewhere and be somebody as a mixed martial artist. That loss made me never want to lose again.”
And Cruz has done just that, winning nine straight fights, including three successful title defenses against Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen and Faber. Cruz won the WEC bantamweight title in 2010 over Brian Bowles.
Despite his success which led him to becoming a world champion, Cruz always had his sights set on facing Faber again, as he needed to test himself against the former champion. He would do just that on July 2 at UFC 132.
“A little over four years later, I received my shot at revenge. In May 2011, I successfully defended my UFC world bantamweight title against Faber, winning over five rounds, but, more than that, I gained the sense of revenge I had been yearning for since ’07,” Cruz wrote. “That victory against Faber wasn’t just about proving I was better than Urijah, or even getting revenge – I simply needed to show that I was a better version of the scrawny and inexperienced guy that lost first time around. I wanted to show the world and myself that I had grown up and matured, and that’s what I did.
“You only have to rewind the tape and look at my face at the end of the fight to get an idea of what that victory meant to me.”
Cruz-Johnson will be shown live this Saturday night on the Versus Network beginning at 9 p.m. ET.