As if The Ultimate Fighter: Live show didn’t have enough problems, season coach Dominick Cruz has now been forced to pull out of his end of season bantamweight title fight with his rival Urijah Faber at UFC 148 due to injury.
Cruz has torn his ACL in training which means he’s got no chance of making the July 7th event and leaves the UFC seeking a new opponent for Faber.
Unfortunately news of his injury only serves to take yet more steam out of the TUF: Live season which has already seen it’s ratings drop to an all-time low in it’s debut season on FX. Part of the attraction of the new format for the show on FX was that the two coaches would be training at the same time so that they were ready to compete immediately after the show’s conclusion, but that aspect has now been nixed by today’s news.
There are alternatives out there for Faber to fight – Renan Barao, Brad Pickett or Michael McDonald spring to mind for instance, but whoever it is won’t have the same impact as Cruz would have, and most importantly don’t have the bantamweight belt that he is currently in possession of.
Having said that, since Cruz is now set to be out for an extended period of time due to his injury it’s not out of the realms of possibility that the UFC would now throw Faber into an interim title fight to help spice things up.
One thing that may soften the blow a little for the UFC is that the headline fight for UFC 148 remains intact as Cruz Vs Faber had recently been bumped down to co-main event status when Anderson Silva Vs Chael Sonnen 2 was switched to the event.
That’s as high profile a fight as the promotion will hold this year so the loss of the co-main event shouldn’t impact upon it’s performance too much.