After Cruz took the bantamweight title away from TJ Dillashaw last month, in what was a ridiculously entertaining and competitive fight (it was a split decision), there was certainly buzz for an immediate rematch. Since then, however, it seems like more coverage and talk has been tied to Faber, and having him fight his old rival for a third time. Now does this mean the rubber match is a done deal? No. No it doesn’t.
But, it is true that Cruz has been fielding a lot of questions about Faber, and the champ has been ‘warming’ to the idea of fighting him again. Case in point, here’s what he recently told MMA Junkie.com:
“I like that Faber matchup because we were supposed to fight but it got put off because of my knee injury, so I feel like that could happen,” Cruz said. “It’s been 10 years of building with this guy, and I just kind of want to shut him down and keep him out of the division after this. He really isn’t the most relevant guy in the world, but he still does a pretty good fight…
“I think this is just another gift for Faber. He’s been gifted his whole career with title shots, but oh well. Screw it. I’m all he’s got left, so I might as well give him one more.”
How about that? What say you Faber boosters?
Now, some purists will make the case that Faber hasn’t earned another title shot, at least, not ahead of Dillashaw or even Raphael Assuncao (who holds a win over Dillashaw and has won seven in a row). But, as we all know, other circumstances, as in how many tickets you can move, plays a key role in awarding title shots as well. Faber, due to his tremendous career and abilities, can definitely move tickets and ratings.
When you throw in all the drama between Cruz and Faber, the fact they each have a win over the other, it’s a fight that makes sense. So is Cruz gifting the bout to his buddy? Maybe. But we’ll all watch it nonetheless.