For many years, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber were two of the most heated rivals in MMA. From the sounds if it, however, their mutual animus has diminished.
Speaking on MMA Fighting’s The A-Side, Faber was asked by a fan if he’d rather be on a sinking life boat with Cruz, or his teammate-turned-nemesis TJ Dillashaw.
Faber was quick to choose Cruz, and went on to explain how their relationship has changed over the years.
“At the end of the day, he’s actually a decent guy. He’s put a lot of hard work into what has become a great career for him.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 14, 2020
“I’ve actually got some respect for Dom Cruz,” Faber said. “I think I’ll go with Dom on this one.
“He and I can have a conversation,” Faber added when asked about his relationship with Cruz. “I’ve had discussions with him before. I think, back in the day, he always had kind of a chip on his shoulder about me, and that’s gone. He’s had his own successful career, he’s got world championships, he’s got a job outside the fight space.
“I feel like I was always kind of fielding a guy who had a little animosity for no reason,” Faber continued. “But at the end of the day he’s actually a decent guy and he’s put a lot of hard work into what has become a great career for him.”
Urijah Faber last fought at UFC 245, when he was stopped by surging bantamweight contender Petr Yan. Prior to that, he emerged from a temporary retirement with a first-round knockout of Ricky Simon.
Dominick Cruz, meanwhile, has not fought since he surrendered the UFC bantamweight strap to Cody Garbrandt in 2016, but is expected to battle reigning champ Henry Cejudo for the belt on May 9.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/15/2020.