Who should get the next shot at Dominick Cruz?

nullAs always, after a champion defends his title, the question is always: who is next?

Dominick Cruz won a very close decision over Urijah Faber at UFC 132, but the fight was close enough to warrant Faber some discussion of an immediate rematch.

But, if not Faber next, then who deserves the shot?

Here is a look at four possible candidates.

1. Urijah Faber – Faber gave Cruz the toughest fight he has had at bantamweight, even tougher than his teammate Joseph Benavidez. Faber has the quickness to match Cruz, but he still wasn’t able to force Cruz out of his style. He was out-struck and to a degree, out-wrestled. It is hard to see Faber winning without a KO against Cruz. Faber has also lost his last four title fights and one has to wonder if he deserves an immediate rematch with a 4-4 record in his last eight fights.

2. Brian Bowles – Bowles is 10-1 in his career with his lone loss coming against Cruz after 10 minutes. Bowles wasn’t stopped by Cruz, he simply broke his hand. Bowles was getting beat at that point in the fight, but still, it wasn’t decisive. Bowles had a year off after the loss to Cruz due to the injury, but he has bounced back with two-straight wins. Considering the way he lost the belt, he probably deserves some strong consideration for a rematch with Cruz.

3. Demetrious Johnson – Johnson has won four straight fights in the division, including wins over “Kid” Yamamoto and Miguel Torres. The small and scrappy wrestler may struggle with the movement of Cruz, but he appears to have some athleticism to maybe pose a challenge to the champion.

4. Brad Pickett – Picket is the lone loss for Johnson, but he has been largely inactive due to injuries. He lost a tough decision to Scott Jorgensen last August, but rebounded with a win over Ivan Menjivar. Pickett is a scrapper that has some good hands and good wrestling. Pickett would certainly bring the fight to Cruz, but he hasn’t been in the public eye much and has actually yet to fight in the UFC.


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