This Saturday's UFC 132 features UFC bantamweight championship Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber, MMA legend Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben, and Ryan Bader vs.Tito Ortiz. Pre fight trash talk for the title bout has been perhaps a little subdued, with Cruz calling Faber a "butt-chin" and Faber retorting on his blog below by calling Cruz an "emotional mess."
I beat Cruz in a defense of my WEC title four years ago. I won with a guillotine in the first round, but Cruz had chip on his shoulder about me before he even met me. During the week of our first fight – before I even met the guy – he’d disrespected me and showed me how he operates when he wrote all over my face on the posters for the event.
I had nothing to do with the design of the poster – but the guy is an emotional mess. He goes from throwing himself pity-parties to praising himself for all that he brings to MMA.
He likes recounting his deprived upbringing (which doesn’t sound that bad, in my opinion) and pondering how he could reach the heights he has with all that’s wrong in his life. Along the way he has made mention of how things have been “handed” to me in my career of nearly 30 fights (which started nearly eight years ago in tiny American Indian casinos, the only place allowed in California at the time), managed to deface more posters of me in gyms and make negative statements about me over the years in gyms in my home state of California.
I’ve brushed it off and followed my own road, but one truth remains: I have someone that chose me as an enemy out there. Cruz is fueled by negativity, jealousy and revenge. The best part is I don’t have many enemies, and I get to take destiny into my own hands. Like most everything in my life, I’ve found a way to have fun with my foe, so I embrace the bitterness, add a creative campaign to stoke the fire and prepare for a great battle.
Usually, punching someone in the face is good therapy. You shake hands afterward and move on. I think that didn’t happen last time because Dominick was upset that I beat him so quickly. I agree with him that he has improved since then, but he had a lot of room to get better.
I feel faster at 135 lbs. than I was 145, and I’m not constantly under pressure to gain weight. My training is more calculated and professional, my life is more stable and organized than it has ever been. Cutting weight is not fun but it’s something I’ve done since I was in the eighth grade. I’ve got a ton of experience under my belt, and I am ready to show everyone that I am the best bantamweight in the world on Saturday.
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