(“That’s UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz leading today’s pack…wait a minute…he appears to be veering off the track and…yep, he’s headed for the medical tent. This cannot be good, ladies and gentlemen.” Photo via Getty.)
To borrow a phrase from the Co-Main Event Podcast, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?”
Dominick Cruz is injured. A-G-A-I-N. Groin tear this time. He has vacated the bantamweight title (a lot of that going around lately…) and in his absence, interim champion Renan Barao has been promoted to undisputed champ and will rematch Urijah Faber at UFC 169 with his first official defense on the line. The announcement was made by Dana White on Sportscenter at 4:30 EST.
Faber will be fighting on less than a month’s notice. It should be noted that the last time these two met, the result was the worst card of the year.
All things considered, I’m kind of excited for this. No, seriously. It’s not just that my New Year’s Resolution was to be less cynical (also, stop waking up naked in cornfields with blood on my hands). This has been a long time coming for Cruz.
“The Dominator” hasn’t fought in over two years. He’s had multiple knee and hand surgeries, which were the pillars of his footwork-heavy, technical boxing attack. We never got to see Cruz attempt to solve the puzzle Barao presented — and I can’t imagine we ever will given Cruz’s paper legs — which feels like an injustice, but it’d be hard to see Cruz returning from such a long layoff without ring rust playing a factor. Then would come the inevitable and mind-numbing discussion regarding said ring rust, cheapening whatever victory Cruz could possibly take away from the fight to begin with.
At least the bantamweight division has finally been freed from its two year purgatory, I guess.
And you know what, Faber looked like a man reborn in 2013, so maybe he’ll give Barao a handful this time around. Yeah! Since he got his ass (rib) so thoroughly handed to him in their first encounter, he’ll surely know what gameplan to bring this time around. ALRIGHT! YEAH!! LET’S DO THIS, FABER! USA! USA!!
(*funnels whiskey and howls at the moon*)