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UFC stages bantamweight title as main event [Updated]

July 1, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Photo: Mixed martial artist Urijah Faber. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Studio 54 Less than a year after folding its lighter-weights World Extreme Cagefighting operation into the fold, the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday will stage a pay-per-view main event with a bantamweight (135-pound) title fight between two of mixed martial arts' most elite lighter fighters.

Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (17-1) of San Diego will make the third defense of his belt at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las  Vegas against former WEC featherweight champion Urijah "The California Kid" Faber (25-4) of Sacramento.

[Updated at 1:47 p.m.: UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta said he was confident the popular holiday card would maintain the tradition of entertainment. "Urijah is one of our most popular guys and this is an intriguing matchup," Fertitta said in a text message.]

The broadcast begins at 6 p.m. Todd Martin will provide live coverage of the card here on The Times' Fabulous Forum.

The UFC will also stage two pay-per-view cards with some of the organization's established stars, as Huntington Beach's Tito Ortiz seeks his first victory since 2006 against Arizona State wrestling product Ryan Bader (12-1) and middleweight Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1) tries to earn a title shot by fighting the tough Chris Leben (21-7).

ALSO:

Dana White fires Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers

Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz fight set at MGM Grand

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Mixed martial artist Urijah Faber. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Studio 54

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