Live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas its UFC 132 Cruz vs. Faber. Putting his shinny new UFC Bantamweight Championship on the line Dominick Cruz gets set for his long awaited rematch with Urijah Faber. Starting his career in 2005 going an impressive 9-0, then in 2007 Cruz got an opportunity of a life time. A chance to fight 17-1 WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber, the more experienced Faber needed less then two minutes to put the undefeated 21 year old Cruz in a guillotine choke and get the tap. In 2008 Cruz made his Bantamweight debut and hasn’t looked back winning six straight on his way to becoming the WEC Bantamweight Champion. He’s now defended his title twice, first beating Joseph Benavidez then the very tough Scotty Jorgenson. That being said Faber is on another level then any of his last opponents, but Cruz speed, endurance and foot work are from another planet, crazy fast.
The Former Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber has pretty much done everything a fighter can do in mixed martial arts, except winning a UFC title and this Saturday night he gets his chance. One of the best well rounded fighters in the world Faber is a handful for anyone, if he can take an opponent down its game over. Faber started his career back in 2003 winning eight straight before losing to the much bigger Tyson Griffin. After moving down to the Featherweight division he would go on to win the WEC title and defend it five times before losing to Mike Brown twice then Jose Aldo, Faber decided to make the move back to the Bantamweight division where he is still undefeated. Carrying a two fight win streak Faber will look to tie Cruz up in the clinch and take him down where he can control him on the ground. There’s an interesting stat when these two met the first time the Champion Faber had a record of 17-1 and now the Champion Cruz has a record of 17-1 with that lone loss being against Faber. Will the much more experienced Faber repeat his performance of 2007 or will the speed and foot movement of Cruz be too much for the former Featherweight Champ? I believe Cruz has a skill no other fighter possess and that’s the ability to not stop moving the entire fight, so I’m predicting Dominick Cruz cruises to a unanimous decision over Faber in a very entertainingly fast paced fight.
In the co-main event legend of the sport Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva takes on Chris “The Crippler” Leben in a fight that’s sure to receive Fight of the Night Honors. Returning from knee surgury Silva hasn’t seen action in well over a year facing Leben who’s fought three times winning two of them since Silva was last been inside the octagon. The former Pride Champions run in the UFC has not been kind to him compiling a record of 2-3 including being knocked out cold by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. With all the wars Silva has had in his fifteen year career may be catching up too him, he really has nothing left to prove.
Stuck in the role of the Middleweight gatekeeper Leben is always game for a slugfest, expect no less when these two step in the octagon. If Leben can manage to knockout Silva I hope Silva hangs it up and doesn’t become like one of the next fighters I’m going to be talking about. My prediction for this Middleweight fight is Chris Leben defeats Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision, and Silva doesn’t retire.
Finally the day has come the last time well see Tito Ortiz inside the octagon, as he gets set for a beating from the younger version of himself Ryan Bader. Coming off a beating himself from now Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, the first loss of Bader’s young career. He started his career in 2007 about a year after Ortiz won his last mma fight against Ken Shamrock in 2006. Winning the Ultimate Fighter season 8 with superb wrestling and big power, the undefeated Bader took on Jones this past February where he got an up close look at the future Champ. He was controlled in every aspect of that fight before getting submitted in the second, losing that way hopefully made him hungry to improve and try to stay in the title picture. The UFC sure handed Ryan Bader a confidence booster in Tito Ortiz, I’m predicting Bader smashes Ortiz and wins via TKO in the second round. This will be the last time we see Tito Ortiz inside the octagon.
A fight that has title contention written all over it, former WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit takes on fourth degree black belt in judo Dong Hyun Kim. I’d like to see the winner of this fight, take on either Jon Fitch or B.J Penn who ever return’s earlier to determine the number one contender for the Welterweight title. Passing the first tough test Kim defeated Nate Diaz in January via unanimous decision, going the distance on all six of his UFC fights except one. Facing Condit who has only gone the distance twice in thirty-one mma fights and very impressive in his last fight knocking out Dan Hardy in the first round. I’m predicting Carlos Condit knocks out Dong Hyun Kim in the second round.