Though The Ultimate Fighter 15 is still a couple weeks away from airing, it seems that Urijah Faber has already begun the war of words with opposing coach, bantamweight champ, and long time rival Dominick Cruz. Set to square off for a third time at UFC 148 in June, the trash talking between these two has reached an all time high, with Faber recently setting the bar at a hole ‘notha level during a recent appearance on Inside MMA. Angered over comments that Cruz made regarding his fighting style, Faber was unrelenting in his analysis of the bantamweight champ:
That’s what fighting’s about, right? And that’s how I approach the fight. Let’s finish this fight! And he’s doing ‘point fighting.’ This isn’t a karate tournament. I mean, do you wanna take hits to the head away next? He’s alive right now because there’s rules in MMA and I had to release his neck and let him breathe! You’re welcome, Dominick Cruz, for giving you life and letting you live! Next time, I’m gonna do the same thing. I’m gonna let you live, but it’s gonna be painful.
Something tells us that we’ll be in for more than “stank bref” jokes this season.
While we’re on the subject of heated rivalries, let’s talk about the possibility of a Ben Henderson/Anthony Pettis rematch, shall we? After starching Joe Lauzon at UFC 144, it seems Pettis is all but destined to rematch the newly crowned lightweight champ, whether or not the general public feels he deserves it. And by “general public,” we mean none other than the champ himself. In an interview with MMAFighting, Henderson put it all into perspective:
I think there’s a line. I don’t think he is first in line. I’m going to handle my business, you know, defend the belt a couple times. He’s going to handle his business. I’m sure he’ll get two or three more wins, maybe highlight reel wins, maybe sturdy wins against solid wrestlers where he can show and work on his take down defense or whatever. But he’s going to do his thing and I’m going to do my thing. I’m sure well match up one day and I’m sure it will be for my UFC belt. I don’t know if he’ll be next, but I’m sure it will happen.
Pettis was quick to retort when questioned on the issue in an interview with Pro MMA Radio, stating that Henderson was more or less afraid of him considering how their lightweight tilt back at WEC 53 went down:
If I was him, I would say the same thing too. I mean, he just won the belt and he doesn’t want to give it up that quick and if he fights against me, he’s not going to hold on to that belt for awhile, I mean, I match up bad for him, and for (him to say) for me to work on my takedown defense, last year he couldn’t take me down and we went five rounds and I won that decision. So, if I was him, I wouldn’t want to fight me either.
The last WEC Lightweight Champion went on to say that “there is no clear number one contender at lightweight” except himself, and that the upcoming UFC on Fox 3 clash between Jim Miller and Nate Diaz is simply too far away to let Henderson sit that long. And he makes a good point. Aside from possibly setting up an immediate rematch between Frankie Edgar and Henderson, there are really not that many, if any, current lightweights that should be in line for a shot. But does a win over Lauzon, who is 3-3 in his last 6, warrant a title shot, especially considering the win only improved Pettis’ UFC record to 2-1? Discuss, Potato Nation.