Dominick Cruz Stuns Urijah Faber at UFC 132
Dominick Cruz waited more than four years for the chance at a rematch with Urijah Faber, and he made
the most of his opportunity by defeating Faber in the main event of UFC 132 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to retain the bantamweight crown.
The two had met for the featherweight title in the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion in 2007, with Faber (25-5, 1-1 UFC) retaining the belt on a guillotine tap-out. This time around however Cruz (18-1, 1-0 UFC) did a little bit of everything on his way to a unanimous decision, with the scores being 50-45, 49-46, and 48-47, cementing his place atop the 135-pound division.
Cruz and Faber lived up to the pre-fight hype surrounding UFC 132 as the two evenly matched bantamweights went toe-to-toe with one another for the full five rounds. Faber landed some powerful right hand shots on several occasions knocking Cruz off balance in the fourth round, but Cruz was able to quickly recover meeting Faber back in the center of the octagon where the two continued to exchange jabs. The fifth and final round may have been Cruz’s best round as he landed a flying knee on Faber and scored multiple takedowns. Faber was quick to get back to his feet each time, but to no avail as his two-match winning streak came to a screeching halt.
The nights co-main event between former PRIDE 205-lb. champion Wanderlei Silva (33-11-1, 1 NC, 3-6 UFC) and Chris Leben (26-7, 12-6 UFC) was expected to be a slugfest between two of the toughest fighters in MMA history, but it ended up being very one-sided ending with a brutal knockout.
The two came out swinging for the fences on one another, but Leben was able to get the better of his Brazilian icon landing a left hand that rocked Silva and followed that hit with three consecutive uppercuts sending Silva to the mat. Leben pounced on Silva landing five more powerful blows to Silva’s head before referee Josh Rosenthal called an end to the fight, after just 27 seconds in round one. It was Leben’s fourth win in five appearances, and a not so happy birthday present for Silva who turned 35 on Sunday.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz appeared to be heading towards the end of his career as he entered Saturday’s fight against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader with a 0-4-1 streak and without a win since defeating Ken Shamrock in 2006.
Ortiz (16-8-1, 15-8-1 UFC) had other thoughts though as he shook Bader (12-2, 5-2 UFC) with a quick right hand, pouncing on his foe for a little ground and pound before transitioning into a guillotine choke. Bader tapped out of the fight 1:56 into the first round giving Ortiz his first submission win since finishing Yuki Kondo with a neck crank at UFC 29 in December of 2000.