This is a guest post by Josh Nason.
In a Fight Of The Year candidate, UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz defeated Urijah Faber by unanimous decision in the main event of Saturday's UFC 132 in Las Vegas, NV.
All three judges saw it differently with scores of 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47. This writer scored it 49-47 for Cruz (Faber 10-9 in 1st, 10-10 4th).
The battle between Cruz (18-1) and Faber was fast-paced as expected with Cruz stuffing Faber's takedowns early. Faber connected on a big right hand in the first that put Cruz on his butt, edging out a tight round for the former champion. Cruz turned it on in the second and third rounds, defending against the takedowns and throwing tons of combinations with his hands and feet. Faber did secure a takedown in the third but Cruz quickly reversed.
As the fight wore on, Faber slowed considerably but still stayed active, landing a right hand in the 4th that again put Cruz on his butt. In the 5th, Cruz was aggressive in taking it to Faber, scoring back-to-back takedowns at one point, with Faber also looking for submissions.
Post-fight, Faber thought he had won and looked disappointed with the decision. Cruz was booed loudly.
Cruz won the then-WEC 135-pound title with a 2nd round TKO over Brian Bowles in March 2010. This win marks the 3rd successful title defense for Cruz (decision wins over Joe Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen) and the first official UFC Bantamweight title defense. His only career loss came at the hands of Faber at WEC 26 back in March 2007 and he now has won nine straight. This was his UFC debut.
Faber (25-5) came into Saturday on a two-fight win streak after a 2-3 stretch that saw him lose his WEC 145-pound title to Mike Brown. After losing to Jose Aldo at April 2010's WEC 48, Faber dropped to bantamweight and scored wins over Takeya Mizugaki and Eddie Wineland in his March UFC debut.
Josh Nason (@JoshNason) is a New England-based MMA journalist that contributes to Bloody Elbow, FIGHT! Magazine and Wrestling Observer/Figure 4 Online. He co-hosts the weekly MMA Show on New Hampshire ESPN Radio affiliate WGAM 900.