It took Urijah Faber just two rounds to get himself back into title contention.
Faber defeated Brian Bowles at UFC 139 by guillotine choke.
With the win, Faber is not only expected to meet UFC bantamweight champ Dominic Cruz for a third time, but could also coach opposite of him on The Ultimate Fighter.
Faber and Cruz’ rivalry dates back to 2007, when they met at WEC 26.
Faber, who was featherweight champion at the time, was able to submit Cruz in the very first round.
Cruz soon dropped to bantamweight and has not lost a fight since.
The two met this past July at UFC 132.
This time, it was Cruz defending his bantamweight title against Faber.
Although the judges gave Cruz a unanimous decision victory, the fight was a lot closer than that.
Thus far in his career, only Faber has been able to hang with Cruz.
Cruz has nearly dominated all of his competition besides Faber.
The only other person to come close to beating Cruz is Faber’s training partner, Joseph Benavidez.
Benavidez and Cruz have met twice in their careers, with Cruz coming out on top both times.
The second time, though, the fight could have went Benavidez’ way.
Besides the two Team Alpha Male fighters, no one has been able to really put a dent in Cruz.
Cruz has not faced everyone in the bantamweight division just yet though.
While there are prospects like Michael McDonald and Renan Barao in the UFC, McDonald is just 20-years-old and perhaps a few years away from truly being a top contender.
Barao is 27-1 and has not been defeated in 28 fights. He recently defeated top-10 bantamweight Brad Pickett.
Another man that Cruz has yet to face is long-time reigning WEC bantamweight champion, Miguel Torres.
Before Torres lost the bantamweight title to Brian Bowles, he was 37-1 and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA.
Although Torres has won three of his last four fights, his last three losses have come to top contenders.
If Torres can find the old spark he once had, he could very well put Cruz in danger.
It would even take him a couple more wins to get a shot at Cruz, however.
For now, Faber seems like the man to beat Cruz. And he will have his chance to do it again sometime next year.
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