Long time rivals former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and former WEC bantamweight champion Urijah Faber had an epic trilogy until they finally settled their beef in December 2016 when Faber finally retired from the sport.
On Ariel Helwani’s MMA hour, both these legends took a trip down memory lane.
Cruz recalled the moment when he had to inform Faber that he had to pull out of one of their scheduled bouts at UFC 148 when Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen rematched against each other.
“It was probably when we were at The Ultimate Fighter,” remembered Cruz. “I had to take him outside after a long practice that I had, and I had to sit with him in his car and tell him that I had blown my knee out.”
According to Cruz, Faber didn’t take the news so well.
“The look on his face was just disgust,” Cruz said. “And he was like, ‘You motherf*cker.’ He was saying things like, ‘Do you know how much we’ve got in this fight…we need to do this…I need to fight you, man!’
“I was just like, ‘My knee is blown out, there’s nothing I can do.’ We ended up making it happen again, but that was just a really real time and moment where I had to look at him and apologize. I said, ‘I’m really sorry to do this to us — not just you, to us.’”
“It was an interesting moment in time that I look at,” Cruz added. “I try to gather strength sometimes from that moment.”
Faber on the other hand, recalled a memorable moment of his own.
“The UFC messed up and put us on a promotional tour together,” Faber remembered. “There was a changing of the guard with the PR people. I had a hairline fracture in my hand at the time and I thought I was going to do a quick hello to the troops. It ended up being a teambuilding thing.
“They put us in front of dead soldiers’ pictures and they were talking to us. It was two-and-a-half months before we were meant to fight and we had to spend three days together. Two of the days were focused on a grueling bonding experience. We had to go through what the military went through and at the end of it we had to save the world. It was this mock thing where we got starved and everything.”
Faber however agreed that he did grew to like Cruz but only ‘for a second’.
“Cruz had his pretty little petite feet and they had to get him new shoes because he got blisters on them,” Faber remembered. “He tripped and hurt himself and I was climbing a rope trying to pretend to everyone that my hand wasn’t broken.
“That was the first time that we ever got to sit down and like each other for a second. As soon as it was over it was back to, ‘Eff you, eff you!’”