Six Winners and Losers of UFC 132: Cruz vs. FaberPosted on June 4, 2011, 06:47 AM by Anton Gurevich
1. Tito Ortiz
The Huntington Beach Bad Boy Tito Ortiz is without a doubt the biggest winner of last Saturday's fight card. Ortiz defeated Ryan Bader via a Guillotine Choke, in what was his first victory since 2006 trilogy bout with Ken Shamrock. Tito Ortiz's grave-digging celebration was a very emotional moment to every MMA fan out there, especially those who follow Ortiz since his Octagon debut at UFC 13. Personally, I would be more than happy to see Ortiz fighting the winner of Rich Franklin vs. Rogerio Nogueira bout (UFC 133). After almost five years without a "W", Tito Ortiz may be en route to a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Amazing.
2. Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz proved once and for all that he's one of the best fighters on the planet. I rank Cruz #3 in my Pound for Pound list, below Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, and above Jose Aldo and Jon Jones. Cruz's movement makes him a unique fighter not only in MMA but in any other type of combat sports, including Boxing and Kickboxing. Urijah Faber was without a doubt Cruz's toughest test, and perfect opportunity for "The Dominator" to prove his worth as a fighter. As for the future, I'm not sure whether fans would be that thrilled to see a rematch against Brian Bowles or a potential wrestling contest with Demetrius Johnson. What surely can be "fight for the ages" for Dominick Cruz, is the Champion vs. Champion superfight against the reigning UFC Featherweight King Jose Aldo Junior.
3. Bantamweight and Featherweight Divisions
The fight between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber was a great main event, which definitely proved that "small guys from WEC" are main card worthy. However, the dream fight between Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz is the only remaining match-up that can safely headline UFC fight card. It's hard to see Aldo or Dominick Cruz fighting in the main event against current top contenders in their divisions (Mendes/Florian and Bowles/Johnson). We might see Aldo and Cruz defending their titles once more, before what could be a perfect New Year's Eve headliner.
1. Urijah Faber
Only three years ago, Urijah Faber defeated Jens Pulver at WEC 34, in what was his fifth consecutive WEC Featherweight title defense. Faber looked unstoppable, but then came Mike Brown who shocked the world by knocking out "The California Kid" five months later. Since then, Faber won 4 non-title fights, and lost 3 title fights (Brown-Aldo-Cruz). I think many people would agree that we saw the best Urijah Faber in years against Dominick Cruz. But still, it was not enough for "The California Kid" to defeat Dominick Cruz, a man who he easily submitted in first round, more than four years ago. And unfortunately for Faber, he's not getting any younger. He's still a top fighter, but it's hard to see Faber dethroning Aldo/Cruz, unless one of them moves up in weight.
2. George Sotiropoulos
It was sad to see George Sotiropoulos following the footsteps of Josh Grispi, with a second consecutive defeat inside the Octagon. Only five months ago G-Sots was on an incredible 7-fight winning streak in the UFC, preparing to fight Dennis Siver at UFC 127 in Australia. Sotiropoulos is now far away from the Four Horsemen of the UFC Lightweight division – Clay Guida, Melvin Guillard, Jim Miller and Dennis Siver, just like Josh Grispi who lost his shot at Jose Aldo's title by losing to Dustin Poirier and George Roop. The Greek-Australian BJJ wizard will now move down to the "Facebook-aired undercard", where he will try to rebuild his top contender status in the UFC Lightweight division.
3. Joe Silva (UFC Matchmaker)
Well, not really a loser, but UFC 132 made sure the UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva will have a lot of "positive headache" with future match-ups. "The Four Horsemen" of the Lightweight division will probably fight each other in a mini-tournament for the #1 contender spot, while Carlos Condit joined Jake Ellenberger in race for a shot at the UFC Welterweight title. If Ellenberger defeats Jake Shields on September 17th, he may find himself one step ahead of Carlos Condit, to whom he lost via Split Decision at Fight Night 19 (September 2009). And of course, it will be interesting to see what's next for Dominick Cruz, Tito Ortiz and Brian Bowles.