21 of the biggest rivalries in MMA history [UPDATED]

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference / Steven Ryan/GettyImages
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Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber

When the UFC created the bantamweight division they brought over many fighters from the former WEC and along with those fighters came the rivalry between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber. These two first met inside the cage back at WEC 26 in 2007. In the leadup, to the fight, Cruz signed his name over Faber’s face on the fight poster and the battle began. Faber won that fight with a first-round submission to win the WEC featherweight title. The loss was the first of Cruz’s career.

Later they both made the drop to 135 pounds and met for the second time in the UFC for the bantamweight title on July 2, 2011. The bad blood trickled over from WEC and now these two hated each other. Cruz was holding the WEC belt when he came over to the UFC and was granted the UFC bantamweight belt. His first title defense in the new organization was to be Faber. The trash talk continued as the fight drew closer. UFC 132 came and this time it was Cruz who was victorious. He defeated Faber by unanimous decision to earn Fight of the Night honors.

Cruz continued on his dominate journey in the UFC. After a long layoff, he went on to defeat TJ Dillashaw, Faber’s training partner and the beef with Faber and his team continued to grow. When Cruz and Faber were matched up a third time Cruz insisted that he had Team Alpha Male’s number. Having defeated several different members of the team, Cruz began calling them “Alpha Fails” started to get under the skin of Faber.

The third fight took place on June 4, 2016. The back and forth was at an all-time high, and with the wins split at 1-1, this fight was for all the marbles. Once more Cruz defeated Faber by unanimous decision in which was Faber’s last shot at UFC gold. “The California Kid” later retired from the sport and Team Alpha Male final got revenge on Cruz when Cody Garbrandt beat him at UFC 207.

Faber and Cruz later squashed their feud and made up, but if Faber ever decides to return to MMA the fourth fight might be too much to pass up.