The latter won the first bout in short order via first round guillotine to retain his featherweight title back in the WEC days.
This time out, the 135-pound title was on the line and it was Cruz looking to defend the strap and avoid a repeat of the first meeting.
"The Dominator" worked his game -- irritating and poking in and out with his trademark combinations that have brought him so much success in his young mixed martial arts career.
In the early rounds, it was "The California Kid" who was landing with the most power. He dropped Cruz in both the first and second rounds, while getting peppered with shots throughout.
But in the battle of speed versus power, the quickness wins out. Dominick Cruz successfully defended his title against his most hated rival.
It's never easy to score a fight when it goes five rounds between two men that have no problem exchanging a lot of punches.
When arms are flailing left and right, it can get difficult to gauge what lands clean and what does damage.
It's crystal clear, though, when one competitor eats a shot and ends up on his ass, as happened with Cruz at three separate points in the fight.
There were questions regarding whether or not Faber would make it five full rounds with one of the pound-for-pound stalwarts. He answered that call by barely breaking a sweat.
He also didn't seem to lose power as the fight went on, an important distinction, as there is no doubt the judges looked at his considerably stronger punches more favorably than they did the high volume thrown by Cruz.
By the time it was over, it was dangerously close. The judges were given a difficult task and they rendered their decision. How controversial will it prove to be?
Time will tell.