UFC 132 Preview: Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber

nullCan Dominick Cruz learn from past mistakes or is history doomed to repeat itself?

That’s the main storyline heading into Saturday’s UFC Bantamweight Championship bout.

Faber beat Cruz by submission in just 1:38 back at WEC 26 on March 24, 2007. Cruz is now a much different fighter, but will it matter against his rival?

Here is a breakdown of both fighters and my pick for this contest.

Dominick Cruz (17-1) – The bantamweight champion has won his last eight bouts since the loss to Faber. He has been on a tear as of late, dominating each of his opponents. Cruz uses a lot of footwork with his striking as he keeps his opponents from being able to settle in. Cruz also has very explosive takedowns, which he likes to use late in rounds to put an exclamation point on his dominance. Cruz has managed to easily defeat strikers and grapplers in his recent string of wins.

Urijah Faber (25-4) – Faber is one of the all-time greats for the lighter weight fighters. He has very quick hands and a strong wrestling base. He also has developed solid submission skills over his storied career. Faber has had 20 of his 25 wins come by stoppage with 13 coming by submission. Typically Faber likes to use his quick hands to work jabs and combinations. If the fight goes to the ground, Faber uses his strength to control the fight and usually finds a way to work in a submission.

Who Will Win – Both men are unorthodox, but I don’t see a scenario where Cruz isn’t able to use his style and make Faber have to take chances. That will open the door for Cruz to get his takedowns and control the fight. Faber may have the quickest hands Cruz has ever faced, but Faber has yet to fight someone that has the style that Cruz currently has. It was a problem for his teammate, Joseph Benavidez, and I see it being a problem for him as well. I will take Cruz to successfully defend his title by unanimous decision.

  

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