Boxing/MMA

UFC 132 Preview, Analysis: Cruz vs. Faber

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This Saturday, July 2nd, UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber comes to you live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. 

The original main event was scheduled to be BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch II but both fighters had to pull out due to injuries sustained during training. Jason “Mayhem” Miller was also set to make his UFC return against Aaron Simpson but was removed from the card when he took a coaching role on TUF 14. As has become the norm, the first four fights will be shown for free on Facebook, and two additional fights will be shown on Spike TV immediately following. Let’s take a look at the five Main Card fights in this week’s Breakdown.

To open the PPV broadcast, Lightweight Dennis Siver (18-7) will face off against “Handsome” Matt Wiman (12-5). Since making his return to the UFC, Siver has piled together a 6-1 record that includes two Knockout of the Night bonuses and a Submission of the Night bonus. Wiman, who has gone 3-0 since his last loss back in 2009, was the victor in a controversial bout with Mac Danzig and then followed up with a dominating performance over Cole Miller. While Siver is more well-known for his kickboxing, he is also a BJJ Purple Belt so he won’t be uncomfortable should Wiman decide to take it to the ground.

Up next is a Welterweight battle between former WEC Welterweight Champion “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (26-5) and “The Stun Gun” Dong-hyun Kim (14-0-1(1)). After losing his UFC debut, Condit has put together back-to-back-to-back dominant victories and is working his way towards the top of the division. Kim, who has gone 5-0-1 since coming to the UFC, has used his Judo and wrestling to control his opponents and earn four decisions and a TKO. Condit will need to use his superior striking to keep Kim at a distance and prevent him from getting a hold of him. If Kim can keep Condit up against the cage and prevent him from throwing his heavy hands, he could very well grind out another decision.

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The next fight of the broadcast is a Light Heavyweight showdown between former UFC champion Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad boy” Ortiz (15-8-1) and Ryan “Darth” Bader (12-1). Coming into this fight, Ortiz has not had a victory in over five years. Meanwhile, Bader has been dominant in all of his fights except for his lone loss. Many people have thought of this fight as “Ortiz vs. Ortiz 2.0” citing that Bader has a similar background and skill set but is quicker, stronger and more explosive. In his prime, Tito Ortiz was at the top of the food chain for quite some time. However, numerous surgeries, injuries and personal problems outside The Octagon have had Ortiz on a steady decline. In the eyes of most, this should, and might very well be, Ortiz’s last fight under the UFC banner should he lose once again. Bader is coming off his first career loss and would love nothing more than to bounce back with a victory in addition to sending Tito packing. While Bader does harness knockout power, Chuck Liddell has been the only man to put Tito to sleep in his entire fourteen year career.

The Co-Main Event of the evening is the highly anticipated slugfest between Middleweights Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (33-10-1(1)) and Chris “The Crippler” Leben (25-7).  Since his return from PRIDE, Silva has gone 2-3 in the last four years and is coming off an eighteen month layoff after knee surgery. Leben has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, including Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses. Pretty much everybody and their mother knows that these two are more than likely going to stand and bang until one, or both, of them are laying unconscious on the canvas. Both fighters have a similar striking background, Leben’s grappling is wrestling and Silva’s is BJJ. They both also have bricks for hands and chins made to take punches. With Leben coming off a knockout loss and Silva coming off a long absence, it’ll be interesting to see which fighter can shake themselves off and land the big shot first.

The Main Event of the evening is a rematch four years in the making as Bantamweight Champion Dominick “Dominator” Cruz (17-1) looks to avenge his lone loss against “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4). The last time these two met, it was Faber who was the champion and defending his WEC Featherweight Championship. After dropping from Featherweight, Cruz quickly won the WEC Bantamweight Championship and successfully defended it twice before it became the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Faber also had success in his first two Bantamweight fights and looks to make it three-in-a-row and 2-0 over Cruz. Not only does Cruz want to avenge his only loss, but these two legitimately do not like each other and there will be no love lost once the cage door closes. When two of the quickest fighters in the company are locked in a cage together, you’re not going to want to blink or you might miss it.

 

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