Urijah Faber just can't win the big one.
Dominick Cruz outboxed, outhustled and outclassed Faber, winning a unanimous decision at UFC 199 in Inglewood, California on Saturday. Cruz won the fight by unanimous decision, 50-45, 50-45, 49-46.
Cruz controlled the fight with his boxing, changing the tone with a big left hand that knocked Faber down. After the knockdown, Cruz controlled the fight with his superior boxing, avoiding taking the fight to the ground. Faber was rattled by the punch, and chose not to shoot for the takedown and put himself in a position for a submission.
Cruz said he was not surprised by the outcome.
"I am just glad I am here," Cruz said. "I am so glad I am able to compete again. I thought I lost this at one point."
Cruz battled back from two torn ACL's on two different legs to win the title last year from T.J. Dillashaw.
Faber showed respect for Cruz in his post-fight interview.
"He's a heavy hitter," Faber said. "He's got some real talent."
Cruz controlled the fight throughout, taking Faber down less than a minute into the fight. They grappled and Cruz landed a right hand to slow Faber down.
The fight changed in Round 2 when Cruz caught Faber with a vicious left hand that sent Faber crashing to the mat on his back. Faber survived, but he was never the same. He was tentative and unsure the rest of the rounds and never committed himself to a takedown attempt.
Cruz was content turning the fight into a boxing match, dancing and throwing combinations. Faber was content eating punches, just trying to avoid the finish.
Faber landed a right hand in Round 5 to Cruz's neck, but the punch did little damage. It was Faber's last effort and Cruz controlled the rest of the fight from the standup.
(Image via MMAWeekly.com)