Urijah Faber isn't sure Dominick Cruz and his camp are playing by the rules.
Both fighters have been speaking with the press, promoting their bout at UFC 199. Things have gotten a bit personal and chippy, which isn't abnormal when it comes to UFC fighters marketing their own fights. However, a similar story line is seemingly repeating itself here.
Previously, Faber made implications that former champion/training partner TJ Dillashaw was using performance enhancing drugs, and now he's doing the same thing to Dominick Cruz.
He implies that Cruz had been using PEDs all up until the USADA testing began.
"I'll tell you what has happened. I've seen a drastic change in his body from the very first time that I fought him, to a year later when he fought, when he took the whole year off and came back all ripped. Then he looked pretty good two years ago when he made his long-awaited return, physically. And then all of a sudden he's got floppy boobs and back fat. I mean, there's no secret what's going on there - and I know he knows it."
He also added:
"The truth is, I've looked the same since I've been like 13 years old. I've continued to be an athlete. I've continued to stay healthy. There's something fishy going on there, and he knows and I know, that there's a big advantage coming to me because of that. And I'll just leave that at that and let USADA do their job."
Faber's veiled accusation appears to be based primarily (if not entirely) on circumstantial evidence and conjecture rather than hard facts. Neither Cruz nor Dillashaw has ever failed a drug test in or out of competition for the UFC.
Regardless, Faber believes that this "big advantage" he has going into his rubber match with Cruz means he will be fighting a lesser version of the man he feels he already beat twice:
"One thousand percent! And the truth is, I will give him the respect because he has the mental side and he has great technique, you know, for what he's trying to do but the truth is he's a fraction, physically, from what he used to be. And it's still gonna be a very tough fight. A world champion's a world champion and that's a mentality thing. But the odds are stacked in my favor."
Faber's plan? It's simple:
"What I would like to do is beat Cruz, then fight Conor at 145."
Cruz and Faber fight for a third time at UFC 199, June 4 at the Forum in Inglewood, California for the UFC Bantamweight Championship.