UFC rivals Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz bury the hatchet after the "California Kid" retires

Faber beat Brad Pickett at the weekend

BY Simon Maguire 11:31 Monday 19 December 2016, 11:31 19 Dec 2016

Image: Gregory Payan AP/Press Association Images

Longtime UFC rivals Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz have buried the hatchet after the "California Kid" retired at the weekend in his hometown of Sacramento.

Faber beat England's Brad Pickett to finish his professional career with a win and retires with a record of 34-10.

The former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) featherweight champion is viewed by many as a pioneer in the sport for the smaller weight classes in the early years of MMA.

Faber and Cruz first fought each other at WEC 26 in 2007 when Faber won by first round submission. The animosity between the pair started before a punch was thrown when Cruz was signing promotional posters for the bout.

His picture wasn't on the poster so he signed his name over Faber's face and the rivalry flourished from there.

The pair didn't lock horns again until July 2011 at UFC 132 when Cruz was the promotion's bantamweight champion. He defended his title via unanimous decision landing almost twice as many strikes as his opponent over five rounds. 

Despite the one-sided nature of the rematch, the rivals were always going to have a rubber match and they met for a third and final time in July this year.

Cruz again dominated the fight and won another unanimous decision over five rounds. 

Cruz was on the Fox Sports panel for Faber's final fight at the weekend where he congratulated him on his career, wished him well and gave him a signed WEC 26 poster - but not over Faber's face this time.

Faber runs his own "Alpha Male" team based in Sacramento and his protégé Cody Garbrandt is due to fight Cruz at UFC 207 on 30th December. 

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week