With his hand finally healed up after extensive surgery earlier in the year, Dominick Cruz is now preparing to make his UFC debut and first UFC bantamweight title defence against Urijah Faber in the main event of UFC 132 in July.
In a new interview with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani, Cruz talks about the fight, his hand injury and his first headline spot on a UFC event.
Check out notes from the interview below, and scroll down to watch the full interview for yourselves.
– Cruz shrugs off the fact that the UFC are not intending to use himself and Faber as TUF 14 coaches, despite heavy rumors suggesting the would earlier in the year. Remaining philosophical about it Cruz says that though he would have liked to have the opportunity, he’s glad that he gets to fight sooner rather than later instead.
– Despite having the WEC bantamweight championship belt lying in his house, and officially being declared the UFC 135lb champ, Cruz says that he takes every fight as if he has nothing, and iprefers to see himself as fighting for the title rather than defending it.
– Cruz says that his hand is now completely healed after major surgery and that he’s able to hit people with it again.
– Assessing his opponent, Cruz says that since they last fought in March of 2007 Faber’s striking has improved, though not by a whole lot. He still believes that Faber will be most dangerous with his grappling.
– As for Faber’s biggest weakness, Cruz says that underestimating him, and believing that just because he beat him once before that he’ll be able to do it again, could prove costly for ‘The California Kid’.
– Meanwhile Cruz says his plan is to make Faber fight his style, and predicts that, like many of his previous opponents, the former champion won’t be able to adjust to it.