Clash could determine next contender for the 135-pound title
There was a lot of activity in the UFC bantamweight division on Thursday night. In addition to the announcement that champion Dominick Cruz would defend his title against Demetrious Johnson in October, a fight that could produce the next challenger for that belt was confirmed as well.
Former WEC featherweight champ and recent bantamweight title challenger Urijah Faber will face-off with former bantamweight title holder Brian Bowles at UFC 139. The event is expected to take place Saturday, November 19 at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California.
Faber and Bowles were both in the running as potential opponents for Cruz. Some had hoped to see Faber and Cruz square off in a rubber match, after the champion evened the career series at one with his unanimous decision victory at UFC 132. That same night, Bowles scored a win over Takeya Mizugaki, his second consecutive victory after losing the belt to Cruz in March 2010. While a consensus couldn’t be reach in the public about who should be next to face Cruz, Thursday’s pair of announcements settled the debate.
“Before a possible trilogy can be considered between Urijah Faber and his rival, champion Dominick Cruz, he will take on one of the division’s truly elite fighters, former Bantamweight Champion Brian Bowles,” said UFC President Dana White. “A win over Faber would be massive for Bowles’ bid to challenge for the belt that was once his. The stakes are high and the fight will be intense.”
It is safe to assume that the winner of this bout will most definitely be “in the mix” in the 135-pound ranks.