UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is in a unique position. He has the opportunity to defend his UFC championship for the first time and at the same time he is attempting to avenge his only loss. The real question is whether he can not only win, but also dominate the division.
That will not be an easy task. His opponent, Urijah Faber, is a serious challenge for any man. Faber defeated Cruz the first time they met in the cage. At that time Faber was the WEC featherweight champion and Cruz was a young fighter with holes in his game. Now Cruz has no holes in his game. He is a solid martial artist and a threat to any man at 135 pounds in the world.
Even though Urijah Faber is a great fighter, I really don't see him being able to deal with the modern day Dominick Cruz. Faber has great wrestling, good striking skills, conditioning and motivation but Cruz simply has more tools on his utility belt.
Dominick also has a size and reach advantage that will come into play in this match. Faber will be so far away from Cruz to avoid his standing strikes that even when he does attempt takedowns, Cruz will be able to avoid them. If Cruz can keep this fight standing then it could get ugly. It is true that Faber can fair well on the feet, but Dominick Cruz is on another level with his striking. I'm not saying that Faber can't win. You can never count that man out. But, what I am saying is that I see Cruz having his hand raised due to his advantages over Faber at 135.
So, can Dominick Cruz dominate the bantamweight division? We really have to wait and see, but I think it is a distinct possibility that he can hold that title for some time. The division he fights in has many tough challenges ahead but there is no one who can say that Cruz doesn't have the heart and skills to be the next Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre. One thing is certain, Dominick Cruz will be a top pound for pound fighter across the board if he wins tonight in convincing fashion.