Urijah Faber to Fight for Interim Bantamweight Belt at UFC 148 after Dominick Cruz Injury

By Mike Whitman May 9, 2012

Urijah Faber will still fight for a title on July 7, just not against Dominick Cruz.

UFC President Dana White announced on Tuesday evening that Faber will compete as scheduled at UFC 148, despite Cruz being forced to withdraw from the championship rematch with a torn ACL. “The California Kid” will instead square off against a to-be-named opponent for the UFC interim bantamweight title.

UFC 148 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be headlined by a middleweight title rematch between longtime champion Anderson Silva and former challenger Chael Sonnen.

Faber and Cruz first met during their time with World Extreme Cagefighting. “The Dominator” challenged Faber for his featherweight title in 2007, tapping out to a guillotine choke in just 98 seconds at WEC 26. Cruz would even the score four years later, however, outpointing Faber to defend his bantamweight crown at UFC 132 in July 2011.

Since faltering in his title bid, Faber has competed once, submitting former WEC bantamweight king Brian Bowles with a second-round guillotine choke. Faber owns 26 career victories to his credit and holds notable wins over Eddie Wineland, Takeya Mizugaki, Jens Pulver, Jeff Curran and Bibiano Fernandes, among others.

Faber and Cruz currently oppose each other as coaches on the 15th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show. Though his rubber match with Faber has been placed on the back burner for now, Cruz is expected to continue in his coaching capacity. However, the promotion has yet to officially comment on the matter.


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