At the moment all signs point to a trilogy fight between bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber being the next title fight in the division, and according to his team-mate Cody Gardbrant, if ‘The California Kid’ wins then he might hang up his gloves for good.
“If Urijah would be the champion I think he would beat Cruz in the next fight,” Team Alpha Male member Gardbrant told bloodyelbow.com. “We talked about it before, he’ll go out as champion, retire,” Garbradt said. “Urijah has done so much for the sport and been a world champion, he’s been the Featherweight king at the WEC – and people seem to forget Urijah ruled that era for a very long time, fought some of the best fighters. What else would he have to prove? You win the title and go out, storybook ending. Boom, done.
“If he goes two and one against Cruz, wins a world title, he then goes on and lives his life,” he said. “He’s the California Kid, he does what he always does. He’s always in the gym. He’s got his other business endeavors. We’ve been talking about it, that would be the perfect storybook ending.”
Faber has already made it clear he wants the fight with his old rival Cruz next to settle their feud once and for all, with both men currently hold a win over the other.
After reclaiming the title from TJ Dillashaw back in January following a long injury absence, Cruz has also indicated he’s willing to entertain the match-up, stating as recently as yesterday in an interview with MMAJunkie that, “I might as well give him one more shot [at the title].”
It would make sense for the 36 year-old to retire if he did emerge victorious in that fight as he would have nothing left to prove, but by the same token even if he lost it’s hard to see what would be left to stick around for.
A fight with Cruz would be his fourth UFC title shot in five years and it’s highly unlikely that he’d be granted another one if he’s unsuccessful again this time around.
Meanwhile, his long-running and highly respected Team Alpha Male gym is in disarray at this moment in time with a number of long-standing members like TJ Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez and Lance Palmer all now training at Denver’s Elevation Fight Team camp, while Chad Mendes is coming off two stoppage losses due to strikes and Danny Castillo has just been released by the UFC.
As his long-time foe Cruz is only too eager to point out, “I’m all he’s got left.”