UFC 132: Did Dominick Cruz Take a Shot at Urijah Faber with Blue Belt Promotion?

Nick Caron@@nicholascaronAnalyst IJuly 3, 2011

Photo Credit: MMAFighting.com
Photo Credit: MMAFighting.com

Was Dominick Cruz rubbing salt in the wound on Urijah Faber after defeating him at UFC 132? If we look at the evidence, the answer may surprisingly be a resounding, "Yes."

Following the announcement of the judges' unanimous decision for Cruz in the UFC 132 main event, some were confused when Cruz's corner was immediately there to present him with a new belt in his martial arts career. Not everyone follows Cruz's career as closely as those close to the champion himself, so many were surprised when he was presented with a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

That's right. Not a black belt. A blue belt.

Normally, this kind of presentation is something that is done within the gym itself. While the blue belt is prestigious, it is not really even close to the level of a black belt.

Even if you look aside from the fact that Cruz is the top 135-pound fighter in the world and he is only now a blue belt, there is actually more humor involved in this situation than first meets the eye.

You see, immediately after his UFC debut where he defeated Eddie Wineland, Urijah Faber's corner presented him with his brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It was kind of an odd situation as these types of in-cage presentations are usually reserved for black belt promotions. Of course, there is no official rule whatsoever about this, it’s just more of a common sense type of thing.

Nevertheless, just about everyone had forgotten about Faber’s brown belt promotion. That is, until tonight when Cruz was given his blue belt in a very similar presentation.

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the blue belt is the second-lowest ranked belt, coming only after the white belt which is what students are given on their first day of class. So to present this distinction to a world-class fighter like Dominick Cruz in the cage, after a main event victory at a UFC event, almost has to be a shot at Urijah Faber.

It's like Cruz's camp is saying, "Oh, your guy is a brown belt? Well our guy is a blue belt, and he just beat you..."

After all, not only would the team have to decide that Cruz was worthy of the promotion after the fight, but they would have had to have brought it with them as they traveled to Las Vegas for the event.

The only logical explanation for this very odd situation is that the champion was taking one final shot at the challenger. Perhaps this feud isn’t done quite yet.


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