The UFC bantamweight title was on the line in the co-main event of UFC 199 in Los Angeles as current champ Dominick Cruz (22-1 MMA) took on bitter rival Urijah Faber (33-9 MMA).
Round one begins and Dominick scores an early takedown. He begins working from full guard. Cruz with some good punches from the top. Faber scrambles and gets back to his feet. Cruz with a good kick to the body. Faber lands a right hand but eats a knee to the body. He shoots in and picks Cruz up and slams him down. Cruz scrambles and takes top position. Faber gets back to his feet and lands a right hand. Dominick pushes Faber up against the cage. They break. Cruz with a head kick that is blocked by Urijah. Faber is chasing Cruz around the cage. Dominick tries a single leg takedown but it is not there. Cruz with a nice jab and then a left hook. He lands another nice combination. Faber throws punches back but they don’t find a home. Round one comes to an end.
Round two begins and Faber misses with a high kick. Cruz snaps a jab that lands flush. Huge left hand from Cruz drops Faber. He’s back up but he looks hurt. Cruz is hunting him down. He misses with a head kick but lands another big punch. Good knee to the body by Cruz. He is landing his jab at will. Cruz lands a stiff kick to the front leg of Faber. Urijah appears to have recovered. Cruz lands another hard jab to the chin of “The California Kid”. Faber is swinging but his punches are coming up short. Cruz lands another jab and then a leg kick. Faber presses forward with some big shots but they miss. Cruz is utilizing some excellent movement to keep Faber at distance. Dominick lands a left, Faber replies with a right hand. One last jab from Cruz to end round two.
Round three begins and Cruz lands two solid leg kicks to start things off. Faber is charging forward with shots but just can’t seem to find Dominick. Cruz with a nice right hand. He narrowly misses with a head kick. The fighters exchange shots but Cruz gets an extra right hand in. Cruz’s footwork is giving Urijah fits at this point. Huge left hand from Cruz. He is walking Faber down now. A nice inside leg kick lands for the champion. Cruz lands a left hook. Faber with a front kick. Cruz replies with a left hand. Round three comes to an end and the fighters bump each other while walking back to their respective corners.
Round four begins and Faber continues to throw punches at air while trying to find Cruz’s chin. Dominick is utilizing his footwork to stay on the outside and pepper Faber with jabs. Cruz with a stiff left jab that lands flush. Faber replies with a kick to the body. He ducks under a Faber punch and lands a big right hand. Cruz presses forward and lands back to back rights. Faber drops to the ground. Cruz rushes in with punches. Faber gets back to his feet and scrambles away. Nice left hand from Cruz. He pops his jab and chases Faber down with strikes. Urijah fires back and lands a right hand. Round four comes to an end.
Round five begins and it is pretty clear that Faber will need a finish to win. Crus comes out with a strong jab to start. He follows that up with a leg kick. Excellent combination from Cruz. He lands a head kick. Faber lands a nice right hand. He lands another but then eats a Cruz jab. Dominick with a nice jab and then a takedown. He gets Urijah’s back. He is looking to lock in the hooks but Faber won’t let him. Faber breaks free but eats another jab. Cruz attempts a takedown but it is not there. Another takedown attempt from Cruz and this time he gets it. Faber fights his way back up. 30 seconds remain. Faber with a left hand. Cruz backs away. This one is over and headed to the judges scorecards for a decision.
Dominick Cruz defeats Urijah Faber via decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)