Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz will meet inside the Octagon for the second time in their careers, this time fighting for the UFC Bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 132 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In their previous encounter, Urijah Faber defeated Cruz via Guillotine Choke to retain the WEC Featherweight title at WEC 26.
Here’s a quick head to head comparison of Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber as a preview for this Saturday’s clash. Don’t forget to join us at LowKick.com for LIVE Chat and Play by Play discussion during the event.
Movement: 75-25 Cruz
Dominick Cruz’s unorthodox movement inside the Octagon will be his biggest strength on Saturday night against Urijah Faber. Cruz loves to engage his opponents in different angles, and always moves in and out of his opponent’s striking range. Every distance-related task is Mission Impossible against Dominick Cruz, especially for the relatively slower Faber. The California Kid can forget about jabs and leg strikes in this one.
Striking: 50-50 Draw
Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz are not exactly the most feared strikers in the UFC, so I’ll give a 50-50 draw in this one. Faber might have more power than Cruz, but the reigning Champ definitely has movement and the unorthodox factor behind his strikers. Cruz’s movement fuels up his striking, but when it comes to toe-to-toe exchanges, Urijah Faber will have an advantage, thanks to crisp boxing skills that we saw against Eddie Wineland. Faber’s success really depends on if he can cut Dominick Cruz’s movement and get him into a dogfight.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: 65-35 Faber
Urijah Faber already submitted Dominick Cruz back at WEC 26. Obviously, Cruz drastically improved since the first fight between the two, but Urijah Faber still has an upper hand when it comes to BJJ. Faber received his Brown Belt after defeating Eddie Wineland at UFC 128, but the California Kid already has 13 Submission victories on his record, some of them against a proven Black Belts. Urijah Faber would love to fight Dominick Cruz on the ground, and I won’t be surprised if it’s the core of his gameplan.
Mental Game: 60-40 Faber
Yes, Dominick Cruz is the Champion, but Urijah Faber still has that “Legend Aura” that gives him an advantage in mind games coming to this fight. Plus, the fact that Faber is already 1-0 in this match-up (Cruz’s only defeat) puts a lot of psychological pressure on Dominick Cruz. The Dominator wants to prove he’s a much better fighter since the last encounter between the two, so there’s a good chance that “gameplan will be thrown out the window” at some point, which obviously plays directly into Urijah Faber’s hands. And of course the fact that it’s Dominick Cruz’s UFC debut, right into main event, only adds to all the mental pressure put on the UFC Bantamweight Champion.