UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber and former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz competed in one of the mixed martial arts world’s most entertaining rivalries. With the Team Alpha Male founder now retired from the sport, Faber recently decided to look back at his relationship with Cruz.
Urijah Faber appeared on the final episode of The MMA Hour, as “The California Kid” was also the first guest for the show. During the segment, host Ariel Helwani had Dominick Cruz join via telephone.
Faber and Cruz then each had a moment to look back at their long standing rivalry.
Speaking on the time he had to apologize to Urijah Faber for having to pull out of their fight due to an injury, Cruz said:
“The look on his face was just disgust. 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. I try to gather strength sometimes from that moment.”
Urijah Faber then took a moment to think back on an experience when Cruz and himself were pinned together for a promotional tour.
“The UFC messed up and put us on a promotional tour together. 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.”
“Cruz had his pretty little petite feet and they had to get him new shoes because he got blisters on them. 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!’”