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Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz’s beef helped shape the UFC

Nearly a decade long, it was exactly what the sport needed

The history between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz was beefy from Day 1.

Set to fight in March 2007, things sparked ahead of their first meet up at World Extreme Cagefighting 26. As soon as the pair were introduced to one another, Cruz felt slighted. Faber eyed the challenger up and down in a way that made Cruz want to knockout the champ right there. He got a chance to take out some frustration thanks to the event’s promoters.

As Faber chronicled in his book The Laws of the Ring, the fighters had to sign posters — they just happened to not have Cruz’s picture on them. So in protest, every signature Cruz made was placed right across Faber’s face.

And that moment would not be forgotten anytime soon. They had a trilogy of fights, talked a decade’s worth of trash, and made it possible for lighter-weight fighters to get bigger paydays under a bigger spotlight.

The beef wasn’t just confined to the two of them as Cruz took on all of Team Alpha Male. But at its core, Faber vs. Cruz will go down as one of the UFC’s best beefs.

Watch the episode to learn just how it all played out.