It’s been one of the worst kept secrets in all of mixed martial arts, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Friday made the trilogy bout that many have been waiting for a reality.
“A fight we are happy to announce today, the co-headliner at UFC 199 on June 4, Dominick ‘the Dominator’ Cruz will be completing his trilogy with ‘the California Kid’ Urijah Faber,” company president Dana White announced at the UFC Unstoppable press conference in Las Vegas.
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Having battled injuries for the better part of the past five years, Cruz (21-1) recently returned to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 81 in January, where he won back the belt he never lost. He recaptured the bantamweight title by taking a split-decision victory over then-champion TJ Dillashaw.
Cruz was forced to relinquish the belt in January of 2014 amidst an ongoing series of injuries. With the belt back in hand, Cruz will now rematch the only man to ever hold a victory over him when he meets Faber at UFC 199.
Despite having a win over Cruz, Faber (33-8) is looking to exact a measure of vengeance of his own. Cruz defended the UFC bantamweight belt against Faber at UFC 132 in 2011, four years after Faber had defeated him in their first match-up. And although he has had a few cracks at a UFC title, it’s a distinction that Faber has never been able to claim for himself, so he would like nothing better than to take the belt from his rival.
UFC 199 is headlined by another rematch, as middleweight champion