Urijah Faber (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)Dominick Cruz Stripped of UFC Title; Urijah Faber Faces Renan Barao at UFC 169 The MMA Corner Staff January 6, 2014 News, Spotlight Dominick Cruz’s bantamweight title reign has come to an end. Yet, it’s not because he was beaten in the cage. The 28-year-old has suffered a torn groin and has been forced out of a planned UFC 169 title unification bout with Renan Barao on Feb. 1. Cruz has not competed since October of 2011, when he bested current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision. The groin injury follows back-to-back knee injuries that have kept the California fighter out of action for more than two years. As a result, the UFC has stripped Cruz of his 135-pound championship. UFC President Dana White announced the news on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Stepping in for Cruz on three weeks’ notice will be former WEC featherweight champion and multiple-time UFC title challenger Urijah Faber. Faber challenged Cruz for the title at UFC 132 in July of 2011, but fell short on the scorecards. Now Faber will rematch the Brazilian Barao, who defeated Faber by decision at UFC 149 in 2012 for the interim title. Since the loss to Barao, Faber has reeled off four straight wins, including three by submission. In his most recent outing, Faber defeated Michael McDonald at UFC on Fox 9 on Dec. 14 via guillotine choke. Barao, meanwhile, will look to cement his status as the No. 1-ranked bantamweight on the planet with another win over the surging Faber. The Brazilian has not tasted defeat since 2005 in his professional debut. UFC 169 takes place from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and airs live on pay-per-view. In addition to the bantamweight title clash between Barao and Faber, the card also features a featherweight title tilt between champion Jose Aldo and No. 1 contender Ricardo Lamas.