Not only UFC betting odds are against Urija Faber at UFC 199 – history is too. Faber will go down into the record books for better or for worse at the event. The outcome of his bantamweight championship match versus Dominick Cruz will determine whether or not it will be something he will want to tell his grandchildren about. Faber (33-8 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is between a rock and hard place when he faces Cruz (21-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in the June 4th pay-per-view co-headliner at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. A win would make him a UFC championship in a record fourth try challenging for the belt. A defeat, on the other hand, would put “The California Kid” at 0-4 in fights where a UFC title is up for grabs, the worst title-fight record in the history of the company.
Even though Faber was champion of the extinct WEC promotion for several years, his luck getting a hold of UFC gold has been on the downside. He unanimously lost by decision to Cruz at UFC 132 in July 2011, and then would go on to lose a couple of matches to Renan Barao in 2012 and 2014. There’s a good UFC betting chance that Faber’s opportunity at UFC 199 will be his last if he does not succeed, so he obviously is going to make the most of it. Faber might be confident regarding his ability to beat Cruz, but people who bet on UFC think otherwise. However, there is an X-factor in Faber’s corner that many have not thought about, and it’s the fact that he is the only fighter to ever beat Cruz, albeit at a WEC event in March 2007 when he finished the fight with a guillotine choke in just 98 seconds. Cruz won the rematch at UFC 132, but Faber said he knows “The Dominator” in the octagon better than any people bet on UFC.
Faber has said he really believes his octagon experience with Cruz is going to play a key part in the denouement of their UFC trilogy bout. Though their last encounter was almost a lustrum ago, Faber said that Cruz is basically the same fighter that he met previously as a result of spending the best part of those five years on the sidelines with a laundry list of injuries. Cruz returned to the main event picture in January, beating T.J. Dillashaw by split decision at UFC Fight Night 81 to regain the 135-pound title after injuries forced him to vacate the belt. Faber watched that match carefully and said he saw a version of Cruz he knows can be defeated. “The (UFC betting) odds don’t matter to me,” Faber said.