Instead, the score was simply evened to a single win apiece as Cruz proved a point to Faber. Through 25 exhausting minutes of action, Cruz showed he is indeed a vastly different fighter than the relative MMA neophyte who was caught in a first-round guillotine four years ago. It wasn't the decision win result that was unexpected, but the competitive pace. It was something else altogether.
In a night that proved a worthy thrill for both hardcore and casual fans, UFC 132 already had a brimming pocketful of highlight reels to take to the bank. Melvin Guillard crushed an unfairly overmatched Shane Roller. Rafael dos Anjos flattened George Sotiropoulos. Carlos Condit dropped an atomic knee blast on Dong Hyun Kim's face. Chris Leben violently shut out Wanderlei Silva's lights.
But even with all that action, the show was stolen by Cruz and Faber, who brawled, scrambled, and raced around the octagon for 25 frantic minutes. It was competitive. It was a barnburner. And it's a match that fight fans want to see again. Could we possibly see Cruz vs. Faber 3 happen in the near future?
Rubber matches are a rare thing in MMA—and if the fight gods are good to Dana White, Joe Silva and the UFC, these five matches could (and should) happen sometime soon.