Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Cruz shucked and jived his way to a unanimous decision win but had one hell of a time doing so, as Faber gave him everything he could handle throughout the duration of the 25-minute throwdown.
Because of how close the fight was, calls for an immediate rematch have been ringing through the halls of Zuffa headquarters. "The Dominator" told MMA Weekly he's down for whatever:
"I'm never going to shut down fights, I don't choose fights I never have. I've never chosen one of my fights ever. So if that's what the fans want, if that's what Dana (White) wants, I'm the champion and part of being the champ is just taking the fights that are given to you. If that's what's given to me, that's what's given to me, let's do it."
Cruz also said his current goals are centered around completing cleaning out the bantamweight division, something he's well on his way to doing.
If a rubber match with Faber will help him towards that goal, so be it.
"The California Kid," who felt the judging in the second bout left quite a bit to be desired and has pondered a change in style because of it, is also ready to get busy one more time.
Here's what Faber had to say to Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan:
"I think my next fight will be probably three to four months and it will probably be against one of the top contenders. I don't know if they'll give me a rematch right away but I know that everybody wants to see the fight again. Dana himself said he would hate to be a judge in that case. He didn't really say who he would have voted for, he just said, 'I would hate to be a judge.' But I think everybody wants to see the rematch. Dominick himself said he would be wanting a rematch also. I think it's going to happen here in the near future."
Indeed, UFC President Dana White did, in fact, say an immediate rematch isn't totally out of the question when he was put on the spot at the post-fight press conference.
However, initial emotions have subsided and it seems less and less likely as days go by.
Current speculation has Cruz defending his title next against either Brian Bowles, whom he defeated for the 135-pound title back in March 2010, or Demetrious Johnson, one of the only credible challengers he hasn't already had his way with.
Of course, it's unlikely neither Bowles nor Johnson will do big business at the box office, unlike Faber, who proved he can draw a respectable buyrate opposite Cruz in a main event of a pay-per-view show, albeit with a nice supporting cast.
Taking everything into account, divisional relevance, business considerations and the like, who should get the next crack at Cruz and his crown? Bowles, Johnson or a rubber match against Faber?
Book it, Maniacs.