Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz met for the first time in 2007 for World Extreme Cagefighting 26. They immediately didn’t get along. That carried on for nearly a decade, moved from the WEC into the UFC, and went on to improve the future of lighter-weight fighters. On paper, it seems like a pretty straight forward, “I respect you but I sure don’t like you.” But over time, with both fighters growing as the sport did the same, it revealed an interesting cycle.
Cruz had been forced to look up to Faber when he sat atop the division and Dominick was starting out. Then the table turned and the veteran Faber was left having to answer to the guy he bested in their first get together. All the while, they were both simply trying to raise the bar for all of the lighter-weight fighters who for a long time had been more than an afterthought. In part thanks to their rivalry and the skills they put on display, that changed quickly. And it worked out very well for everyone else because their beef was entertaining as hell.
Researched and directed by Jiazhen Zhang
Written and produced by Will Buikema