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Urijah Faber

Over four years removed from their first clash, UFC stars Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are set to meet again – this time for the UFC bantamweight championship. UFC announced that on Saturday, July 2 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Cruz will defend the UFC bantamweight title against Faber in one of the most anticipated title bouts of the summer. The 26-year-old Cruz is out to avenge a 2007 featherweight title loss to “The California Kid” and now looks to settle the score in the highly-entertaining 135-pound division.

UFC 132: CRUZ vs. FABER 2 will also feature a clash between Chris “The Crippler” Leben and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva, a lightweight contest pitting rising contender Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman, a light heavyweight bout between Ryan Bader and former champion Tito Ortiz, and an explosive welterweight bout between Dong Hyun Kim and Carlos Condit.

“There is no love lost between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber and they are both fired up to not only fight again, but to fight for the UFC bantamweight title,” UFC President Dana White said. “The bantamweight division is one of the most exciting weight classes in this sport and Dominick and Urijah will both bring it for five rounds.

“Wandy came and asked for this fight and Leben wanted it just as bad,” White continued. “This is gonna be fun! When you add in the Siver-Wiman and Kim-Condit fights, and the fact that Tito will be fighting Ryan Bader to keep his career alive, it’s hard not to get excited for UFC 132.”

Undefeated in the bantamweight division, Dominick Cruz (fighting out of San Diego, Calif./17-1) offers one of the most complete skill sets in all of mixed martial arts. With unorthodox footwork, precision striking and tremendous wrestling, “The Dominator” has defeated the likes of Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez (twice) and Scott Jorgensen. Now, the champion sets out to prove that his loss to Faber in 2007 was nothing more than a minor hurdle on the path to becoming the best 135-pound fighter in history.

“This fight is going to be different because I’ve become a complete fighter,” Cruz said. “Before, it was my very first training camp. He’s made some changes since that fight, but I’m a completely different fighter. The bottom line is all of Urijah’s losses have come from guys that he can’t take down and guys who out-strike him. He can’t take me down and he can’t out-strike me. I win this fight.”

A former featherweight champion who has since won back-to-back fights at his new weight of 135 pounds, Urijah Faber (fighting out Sacramento, Calif./25-4) is a pioneer in the lighter weight classes. “The California Kid” holds victories over the likes of Eddie Wineland, Takeya Mizugaki and Jens Pulver (twice), and believes he’ll score a second victory over his bitter rival on July 2. By doing so, he hopes to earn his second title in two different weight classes.

“I’m super excited for my UFC title shot,” Faber said. “I’ve been waiting my entire career for this and I’m not going to let Dominick get in my way. It’s a great matchup for me and I’m taking the UFC belt back to Sacramento!”

Known for his warrior spirit and heavy hands, Chris Leben (fighting out of Oahu, Hawaii/21-7) has been vocal in his desire to fight Wanderlei Silva (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./33-10-1, 1 NC). On July 2, the man who holds wins over notables such as Yoshihiro Akiyama, Aaron Simpson and Jorge Santiago finally gets his date with “The Axe Murderer.” No stranger to all-out wars, the 36-year-old Curitiba native will look to add to his impressive resume with a win over “The Crippler.”

Riding a three-fight winning streak, Matt Wiman (fighting out of Denver, Colo./13-5) looks to climb one step closer to a shot at the lightweight title with a win this July. To do so, the gritty 27-year-old must best fierce kickboxer Dennis Siver (fighting out of Mannheim, Germany/18-7). The 32-year-old, who defeated the fast-rising George Sotiropolous at UFC 127 in February to extend his win streak to three, is a devastating body striker and can finish fights in a hurry. Expect an exciting bout when he meets Wiman in Las Vegas.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz (fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif./16-8-1) returns to Las Vegas hoping to keep his illustrious career alive when he meets wrestling powerhouse Ryan Bader (fighting out of Tempe, Ariz./12-1). A vicious ground and pound artist, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” owns wins over some of the sport’s all-time best, including Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin. To fuel another run in the UFC’s talented 205-pound division, the 36-year-old finds himself in a must-win situation against the heavy-handed Bader, a two-time Division I All-American.

Welterweight standout Dong Hyun Kim (fighting out of Busan, South Korea/14-0-1, 1 NC) battles Carlos Condit (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M./26-5) in a pivotal 170-pound collision at UFC 132. The 29-year-old South Korean remains unbeaten in his UFC career and holds wins over the likes of Nate Diaz and Amir Sadollah. He’ll be in for his toughest bout yet when he meets Condit, a winner of three straight who most recently knocked out Dan Hardy at UFC 120 last October.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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