Five rounds with ... Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz is in constant motion. That's his secret. But it's no secret. You see it every time he steps into the octagon. That doesn't make it any easier to figure out.
The UFC bantamweight champion seems to be forever coming forward yet paradoxically is unpredictable in his movement. You wouldn't say he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee ... unless the bee were a Gumbylike figure with every third frame of animation missing. He's more like a herky-jerky Elaine Benes claymation dance in elusive fast-forward. With a mean jab, hook and cross.
Catching Cruz isn't hard these days, however. You can do so every Friday night on FX (10 p.m. ET), as he's a coach on
On Cruz' 19-1 record, Faber is the 1. Back in 2007, when "The California Kid" was the WEC featherweight belt holder, he caught Dominick in a guillotine choke and elicited a tapout just 1:38 into the first round. Cruz was just an MMA pup, though, a 21-year-old with nine fights.
Since then, Cruz has lived up to the nickname "The Dominator." He's won 10 straight bouts, including four defenses of the belt he won from Brian Bowles in 2010. One of those successful defenses was in last summer's rematch with Faber, then a newly minted bantamweight. The fight went the full five rounds but was a clear decision for the champ.
Cruz and Faber will make it a trilogy July 7 at UFC 148. SI.com caught up with Cruz on Thursday to go a few rounds, touching on Faber,
That is a great, great example of why me and Faber don't get along. I never overlook someone. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But Faber sees Vick and says, This is going to be a guaranteed win. That's exactly the way he looked at me when we first fought. That's exactly the way he's looked at a lot of opponents. There's a real arrogant, smug attitude. And I can't stand that.
I will take a James Vick any day of the week, and I will help mold that guy. He's scrappy. He's tough. He wants it. I'll build that guy into a winner. He'll take the hardest path possible through the ranks until he's a world champion. I love that kind of guy. I loved watching him beat Faber's guy. It put a smile on my face. And every time I beat Faber, whether in the cage or as a coach, I get a little happier.
It didn't change anything between us. He started talking trash again, and I'm not going to just sit here and be quiet because I feel bad for the guy. I go right back at him.
The thing is, the bad feelings between Faber and me have nothing to do with our families. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy in the world, for someone in their family to get hurt like that. That's a tragedy, it really is. But his sister's OK now, and I'm super glad to hear that. I've talked to Faber about it, and he says his sister is recovering 100 percent. I'm seriously stoked to hear that.