LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dominick Cruz retained the bantamweight title and avenged his only career loss, unanimously outpointing Urijah Faber in a five-round bout in UFC 132 on Saturday night.
Cruz, the aggressor throughout who utilized his awkward style to land a number of leg kicks and solid strikes, had winning scores of 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47 to improve to 18-1.
“This fight tells me a lot about myself,” Cruz said. “I lost to him four years and it’s harder to lose and come back than it is to win and keep winning.”
“This fight tells me a lot about myself,” Cruz said. “I lost to him four years and it’s harder to lose and come back than it is to win and keep winning. ... He’s a tough veteran and you have to give it up to him.”
Faber kept the fight close, landing numerous power shots and dropping Cruz twice with straight right hands.
“I knew it would be a tough fight,” Faber said. “I felt like it could have gone either way, but I thought I won the fight.”
In the co-main event at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Chris Leben rebounded from a loss in his last fight to stop Wanderlei Silva in 27 seconds.
Leben was briefly stunned by a solid shot from Silva, but countered with a punch that knocked Silva off balance. Leben followed with a flurry of uppercuts that dropped Silva to his knees and the fight was stopped moments later.
“Wanderlei is my hero. He’s always been my favorite fighter,” Leben said. “I only visualized a three-round war. I never envisioned a knockout. It’s unbelievable!”
On the undercard, former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz won for the first time in nearly five years with a first-round submission victory over Ryan Bader.
Ortiz sent Bader to the canvas with a short right uppercut, quickly secured a guillotine choke and forced a tap-out at 1:56 of the first round.
Also, Carlos Condit moved a step closer to a title shot with a first-round victory over previously unbeaten contender Kim Dong-hyun. Condit floored Kim with a flying knee and pounced on his downed opponent, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 2:58 of the first round.
Denis Siver earned his fourth straight victory with a unanimous decision over Matt Wiman.
In the preliminary bouts, Melvin Guillard and Rafael Dos Anjos had first-round knockouts, and Brian Bowles, Aaron Simpson, Anthony Njokuani and Jeff Hougland won unanimous decisions.