MANILA, Philippines – Dominick Cruz finished his longstanding rivalry with Urijah Faber by retaining the world bantamweight championship in the co-headliner of UFC 199 on Sunday, June 5 (Manila time) at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Cruz had the last laugh in his third encounter against Faber by unanimous decision with the scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.
Even though Cruz and Faber were so familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, both men did not hesitate to engage in a wild back-and-forth exchange to kick of their rubber match.
Cruz was able to create space early on in the first round to implement his length and size advantage, but an undeterred Faber moved in to close the distance.
As Faber rushed at Cruz with a quick knee, he had his leg snatched up by the champion, who converted into a quick takedown at center cage and worked to advance past Faber’s butterfly guard before the two bantamweights stood back up.
Faber executed a high double-leg along the cage fence that lifted and slammed Cruz to the ground, but the latter flipped him over as soon as they hit the canvas.
The pace in this fight is INSANE!!!!! #UFC199 #KingdomTV https://t.co/s3FYP7Aznt — #UFC199 (@ufc) June 5, 2016
With Cruz sporting a small cut beneath his left eye, Faber managed to stuff a single-leg shot by stepped into the pocket, but he was popped with a short left to the mouth.
The 30-year-old Cruz totally controlled the fight’s pace in the second period, where he dropped Faber with a left straight that completely took out his 7-year older opponent out of his game.
Down goes Faber! The champ trying to finish this fight! #UFC199 #KingdomTV https://t.co/I87lmMtE0R — #UFC199 (@ufc) June 5, 2016
Cruz picked where he left off in the round two by chopping Faber’s lead leg with hard kicks, dodging every shot from his desperate foe, and then sinuously throwing his counter shots in different angles in the third round.
With Faber appearing to lose his steam, Cruz toyed his counterpart in the succeeding rounds, cherry-picking his strikes and consistently stopping every takedown attempts.
Cruz improves his professional record to 22-1 with the one-sided conquest of Faber and extends his winning streak to 13 matches.
On the other hand, Faber downgrades to a 33-9 win-loss slate and heads back to the losing territory after routing Frankie Saenz this past December.
Dan Henderson dispatches Hector Lombard with stunning knockout
Dan Henderson (32-14) might be on the tail-end of his 19-year prizefighting career, but it did not prevent him from pulling off a spectacular knockout victory over Hector Lombard (34-6-1, 1 NC) in their welterweight clash on the undercard of UFC 199.
After nearly being taken out by Lombard in the opening frame, the 45-year-old veteran from Temecula, California changed the tempo of the bout in the second round and secured an astonishing finish to the encounter.
Henderson, a two-division world champion in the now-defunct PRIDE organization, tuned the lights off on Lombard by throwing a head kick and then slashing a vicious back elbow to the temple before punctuating with an extra forearm shiver to compel referee Herb Dean to wave it off at 1:27 of round two.
Dan Henderson knocks out Hector Lombard in the second round! #UFC199 pic.twitter.com/rTe1F8MtwG — NISSI ICASIANO (@Nissi_Icasiano) June 5, 2016
Although Henderson returned to his winning ways, he is uncertain if he will still continue fighting as he has lost 6 of his last 9 Octagon outings.
“I’m not sure what’s next. That could have been the last fight of my career,” Henderson said after the fight.
In other matches, Dustin Poirier (19-4) triumphantly returned to the lightweight division by thumping Bobby Green (23-6) with a first round technical knockout.
Dustin Poirier (19-4) finishes Bobby Green (23-6) in the first round. #UFC199 pic.twitter.com/NzuZAVZctR — NISSI ICASIANO (@Nissi_Icasiano) June 5, 2016
Meanwhile, Max Holloway (16-3) outclassed Ricardo Lamas (16-5) in their 3-round featherweight scrap with a lopsided unanimous decision win. – Rappler.com