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Faber and Cruz rivalry is perfect

By Jake Martin
On March 21, 2012

Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz's rivalry is exactly how every MMA rivalry should be.

This season of The Ultimate Fighter has received great reviews from MMA fans, and while it is much improved because of the live format, it is a lot better because of the coaches interacting with one another.

Coaching opposite from each other on the show, Cruz and Faber display a little trash-talking, show their ultra competitive nature and most importantly, show respect to each other.

Take the last episode for example. After picking their teams, Cruz and Faber sat across from each other, where Faber called out Cruz for telling ESPN The Magazine that Faber's parents gave him his gym.

Faber not only told him that it was not true, but he said that his dad was offended and that he needed to leave the families out of their rivalry. It looked like Cruz sincerely did not mean to offend Faber's dad and apologized right on the spot.

Even in the way they talked to each other, you could tell both guys have so much respect for each other, and you can see it in both competitors' eyes that they cannot wait to get in the ring and mix it up one more time.

That is the respect aspect that I feel needs to be involved between two MMA fighters. Later in the show, we saw the competitive side.

After Cruz's James Vick upset Faber's Daron Cruickshank in the first fight between the two teams, the show ended with Cruz deciding the next fight for the following week, and Cruz stunned UFC president Dana White with his decision.

For the first time in TUF history, Cruz chose his best fighter, Justin Lawrence, and told Faber to pick anybody he wants to face him. I thought that was awesome and exhibited what these guys are all about.

Cruz basically said, "Here's my best man, now you pick your best man, and let's see who's the best of the best." Faber was taken back by Cruz's decision and because it was live, he didn't really have enough time to pick the matchup he wanted.

Faber looked flustered, and his fighters told Cruz to pick the matchup, so he picked one of Faber's top guys in Cristiano Marcello. That not only has me anticipating next week's episode but also wants me to give Cruz an early mental edge with that brilliant chess move.

And finally what makes this rivalry so great is the fact that you know that both guys are going to deliver when they fight. This is not going to be the Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans borefest that took place at UFC 114 after hours and hours of trash talking, but this is going to be an epic fight.

Cruz and Faber's fight at UFC 132 last year was one of the best of the year, and with both fighters' styles, there is no way that this fight will disappoint.

Take notes MMA fighters, Cruz and Faber handle their business inside and outside the ring like true professionals, and really, they are the unsung heroes for this season of TUF being so ridiculously awesome.

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