UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber says that Dominick Cruz is a dark horse and that “everyone’ sleeping on” him in the bantamweight title picture.
Faber has fought Cruz three times, with Cruz winning two of those fights, so he would know better than anyone just how capable “The Dominator” is at 135lbs. Right now, Henry Cejudo is the UFC bantamweight champion and former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is next in line for the belt when he gets his title shot at UFC 250 in May.
After that, you have names like Petr Yan, who just beat Faber at UFC 245; Marlon Moraes, the No. 1 contender; Aljamain Sterling, who is on a nice win streak; former champion Cody Garbrandt; perennial contender Raphael Assuncao; and disgruntled former champion TJ Dillashaw.
But if you ask Faber, he believes that Cruz is the one guy that has the best chance to win the UFC bantamweight title that no one is talking about. In fact, Faber is proposing that Cruz fight Yan with the winner getting a title shot when he makes his return to the Octagon later this year. Here’s what Faber told MMAFighting.com.
“I think Dominick Cruz would be a nightmare matchup for Yan. Maybe have Dominick come out and fight Yan and the winner of that (gets the title shot). Everyone’s sleeping on Dominick Cruz,” Faber said.
On one hand, Faber makes a great point that Cruz is a bit forgotten about in a stacked division. With a 22-2 overall MMA record, Cruz has one of the best winning percentages in the division and is of course the former two-time UFC bantamweight champ as well as the former WEC champ. So he’s proven he can win at the highest level of the sport.
At the same time, however, Cruz has not stepped into the cage since a December 2016 decision loss to Garbrandt. In fact, Cruz has only fought four times since 2011, though he has wins over Faber and Dillashaw during that span. Still, he is turning 35 in March and has dealt with so many injuries throughout his career, that the Cruz that Faber remembers from the past may not be the Cruz of 2020.
Do you agree with Urijah Faber that Dominick Cruz is a sleeper in the UFC bantamweight title picture?