In the co-main event at UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping, bitter enemies will meet again. The UFC bantamweight title will be on the line when Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber take their rivalry to a third fight, and both men are fully prepared for the task. They met once in the WEC, where Faber quickly handed Cruz his only career loss. The rematch in 2011 was close, but Cruz came out on top. How will the third one go down?
This may be Faber's last shot at glory in the UFC. He's 0-3 in title shots in the organization coming in, and he'll have to deal with a man that knows him very well. Cruz was on the shelf for a long time and has fought just three times since his last meeting with Faber. But he reclaimed the belt he never lost in the cage by beating T.J. Dillashaw in his last bout, and he's interested in keeping it for a while.
How do these two stack up?
Cruz: 30 years old | 5'8" | 68" reach
Faber: 37 years old | 5'6" | 67" reach
What have these two done recently?
Cruz: W - T.J. Dillashaw (SD) | W - Takeya Mizugaki (TKO) | W - Demetrious Johnson (UD)
Faber: W - Frankie Saenz (UD) | L - Frankie Edgar (UD) | W - Francisco Rivera (Sub)
How did these two get here?
Cruz got here by overcoming a long string of injuries that may have put many men on the sidelines permanently. Regaining his title from Dillashaw was a huge accomplishment, and his first title defense will come against the man that has been a thorn in his side for nine years in Faber. Their 2011 bout was close, but Cruz clearly won and he firmly believes he can do the same thing five years later.
Faber, meanwhile, is where he seemingly always is - sitting as one of the top contenders in an increasingly strong bantamweight division. He came up short once against Cruz and twice against former champ Renan Barao, yet he has won every other 135-pound fight he has competed in inside the Octagon. His loss to Frankie Edgar was one-sided, but it came a weight class up and clearly wasn't held against him. Many thought that Dillashaw would get an automatic rematch - instead, the UFC went back to the Cruz/Faber well. Likely for the last time.
Why should you care?
These men do not like each other, and the action should be intense. It's highly unlikely to be boring.