UFC 132 Fight Card: What Dominick Cruz Must Do to Beat Urijah Faber

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2011

Dominick Cruz will be looking to defend his bantamweight championship for the third consecutive time at UFC 132.

This is a high stakes fight for Cruz, not only because his belt is on the line, but also because it's his first time defending his title in the UFC. And his opponent is the only man to ever beat him, Urijah Faber.

Dominick and Urijah fought for the first time at WEC 26 with the WEC bantamweight championship on the line.

Cruz was successful in the early goings of the first round with his striking, but things went awry for him when he decided to take Faber down.

In going for the take down, Cruz left his neck exposed and was subsequently caught in a guillotine choke and forced to tap.

So, what must Dominick do to defeat Urijah Faber and retain his bantamweight championship?

In a nutshell, he should avoid the ground game at all costs.

In the first fight it was very clear that Cruz had the advantage standing, and he has only improved since then.

Dominick needs to use his superior footwork and speed to move in and out of Urijah's range and pick Faber apart with his hands.

Cruz will want to avoid any clinching, as it's likely to lead to a takedown. So, when exchanging with Urijah, he would be wise to come in and out from angles and to always be circling Faber, rather than moving straight forward or straight back.

Since these two men first fought, Dominick has improved by leaps and bounds, so it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for him to win this fight on the ground.

That said, it's always a good idea to fight your opponent where you have the biggest advantage, and Cruz' biggest advantage in this fight lies in the striking; Dominick is the faster fighter in this one, and that advantage would be difficult to use on the ground.