UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz hasn’t crossed paths with rival Urijah Faber in a competitive sense since the two served as coaches on the Ultimate Fighter 15. However, Faber has never been far from his mind (or ear), as the two have occasionally taken verbal jabs at one another in various media appearances over the past year.

The latest example of the heat between Faber-Cruz boiling over from a simmer came in a interview with Bleacher Report where the 19-1 title-holder admitted pleasure in knowing his 2011 win over “The California Kid” could prevent his foe from ever being a true bantamweight king.

“I’m one of two people to ever keep Faber from becoming a UFC champion. He will forever be known as the former WEC champion. He will always be a number one contender and never anything more,” said Cruz through a smile.

Faber submitted Cruz in 2007 under the WEC banner before falling to him on the scorecards at UFC 132. Cruz defended his title successfully in a follow-up fight with Demetrious Johnson, then suffered the first of two consecutive ACL tears while training for his tiebreaker with Faber. The 27-year old Cruz is expected to fight later this year if his health continues to progress as planned.