Urijah Faber: Dominick Cruz Is a Champion, He Will Come Back Strong

Damon MartinContributor IJuly 29, 2013

Rivalries are a big part of every sport, and in the UFC bantamweight division there may not be a more heated pairing than that of former WEC champion Urijah Faber and current 135-pound king Dominick Cruz.

Faber and Cruz have battled in the cage on two occasions, splitting the pair of fights at one a piece.

The two were set to face off again in 2012, but the champion suffered a horrific knee injury that put him out of action and onto the surgeon's table two times over the course of 12 months. 

While there is certainly no love lost between the two competitors, Faber hopes that Cruz is able to come back to MMA just as strong as when he left it over a year ago.

"Being a champ is mental and he's got that part down," Faber said about Cruz. "He's a champion now, he's got the work ethic down, if his knee's an issue he's going to have to shift his style a little bit. He's going to come back, he's going to be tough, and we're probably going to fight again soon."

By the time Cruz returns to the Octagon it will be more than two years since his last fight. 

Faber may still want to beat him up when he returns, but it sounds like he's in his corner wishing him a speedy recovery and hoping he's able to resume his career at full force once he's healthy.

Check out the full interview with Faber in which he talks about Cruz as well as his upcoming fight against Yuri Alcantara at UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen.