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Lineup for UFC 132 in Las Vegas takes shape

Cruz vs. Faber slated for main event, while Penn vs. Fitch is likely co-main event

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Justin M. Bowen

Dominick Cruz celebrates after beating Joseph Benavidez by split decision at WEC 50 inside The Pearl at The Palms Wednesday, August 18, 2010.

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Two fierce enemies are set to renew their rivalry in the main event of UFC 132 on July 2 in Las Vegas.

Urijah Faber (25-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will challenge Dominick Cruz (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) for the bantamweight championship in Las Vegas’ annual Fourth of July weekend card, UFC announced via its twitter and official web site Saturday evening. The event is expected to take place at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Faber handed Cruz his only career defeat when he submitted the current champion via guillotine choke in the first round of their WEC featherweight bout four years ago. Their feud only grew from there and escalated when Faber beat Eddie Wineland at UFC 128 last weekend and called out Cruz from the octagon.

“I felt like he chose me as an enemy and I gladly accepted,” Faber said after his first UFC win.

Rumors suggested Cruz and Faber would face off as coaches on the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, but that now appears unlikely with the fight only four months away.

It’s possible UFC didn’t want to wait to schedule the championship bout, which is the organization’s first at the 135-pound division since merging with WEC.

“This is the biggest bantamweight title fight ever,” UFC President Dana White said in a release.

UFC has also announced five additional bouts for UFC 132 with most of them expected to appear on the pay-per-view main card. They are listed below.

Welterweight Bout: B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC) vs. Jon Fitch (23-3-1 MMA, 13-1-1 UFC) Fitch and Penn rematch after fighting to a majority draw at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.

Lightweight Bout: Evan Dunham (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) vs. George Sotiropoulos (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) Dunham and Sotiropoulos were both near the top of the 155-pound division before upset defeats to start 2011.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Tito Ortiz (15-8-1 MMA, 14-8-1 UFC) vs. Ryan Bader (12-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) Ortiz, a former champion, has one last chance to save his UFC roster spot after losing three straight fights, while Bader comes back from his first career loss to Jon Jones.

Lightweight Bout: Melvin Guillard (27-8-2 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Shane Roller (10-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) Guillard goes for his fifth straight win against the WEC veteran who scored a Knockout of the Night award over Thiago Tavares in his octagon debut.

Lightweight Bout: Matt Wiman (13-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) vs. Dennis Siver (18-7 MMA, 7-4 UFC) Wiman and Siver are both on three-fight win streaks after each started 2011 with a victory.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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