Cruz, Benavidez set for rematch
Because of what
Yet few people seem to be discussing it. A post-Sonnen lull, perhaps.
If you can bring yourself to care about a fight without an avalanche of quotable copy, good for you. I'm firmly in that camp. It would be a disservice to fighters like Cruz and Benavidez, 135-pounders who exhibit as much skill as any fighters today, not to care.
Still, you're itching for just a little bit of Sonnen-ese. It's understandable considering what we wall just went through.
Maybe, not likely but maybe, this line from
"Cruz dances around and does potshotting, weird little shots that aren't knockout punches," Faber said. "When you're doing that and dancing around get guys chasing it allows for takedowns. It's definitely a unique style but it's not that dangerous. He finds a way to win. He should change his name from 'The Dominator' to 'The Decisionator.'"
The Decisionator. It's as good as you'll get and it's not that good.
His fighter -- not quite
Yeah, it's not happening for you. Maybe this is the kind of fight that's worth our interest because it's going to render some terrific MMA. Maybe this is the kind of fight that's worth our interest because it's No. 1 vs. No. 2 in an extremely compelling weight division.
In the year since they last met in Las Vegas, Cruz secured the title against a previously undefeated
Benavidez, meanwhile, regained his confidence after falling on points to Cruz by crushing
"I've been telling him since the beginning he's the best 135-pounder in the world," said Faber of his 26-year-old friend. "And he didn't discount it, but after that I think he realized he has the ability to be the very best."
Too much aggressiveness, said Faber, cost Benavidez his perfect record last August. That and a lack of respect for Cruz's wrestling. After watching a replay of the fight, Benavidez vowed not to be "out-game planned" again. He'll have to fight with intelligence, and can't play into Cruz's counter fighting or range if he expects to find a better result.
"I see 'The Decisionator' planning on going the distance," said Faber, who was scheduled to make his bantamweight debut tonight but fell off the card because of a torn MCL, which fortunately for him won't require surgery. "That's his best chance to win. I don't see him finishing anybody at a higher level. Joseph could win a decision. He could also submit him. He could also knock him out. Dominick's done a good job of finding ways to win but it's more irritating the guy than beating him up."
One thing that hasn't changed is the champion's size advantage. Standing next to the 5-foot-4 Benavidez, who by all rights should be at 125 pounds, Cruz looks gigantic. He's four inches taller and will step in the cage close to 150 pounds.
"Benavidez is the toughest opponent for Dominick Cruz as far as matchup and style," said Del Fierro. "He's one of the few guys that can actually kickbox. He can put together combinations and finish with a kick or start with a kick.
"I think what will happen this time, just because it's five rounds, it'll be more technical and less of a brawl, which is preferable to Dominick's style."
And maybe then people will choose to talk about it.