Urijah Faber's next move unclear, but former WEC champ says flyweight not an option
Winless in his past five championship fights, Urijah Faber's next move is currently unclear.
However, the former WEC featherweight champion has immediately ruled out at least one possibility: He is absolutely not considering a drop to 125 pounds.
"No way," Faber told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I put on 18 pounds last night, and I would probably not be here if I was trying to get to 125. No, 135 is where I'll be."
Faber found himself in a similar position in 2010 after losing his 145-pound title to Mike Brown then losing a rematch with Brown and later a shot against current UFC champion Jose Aldo. With three-straight losses in 145-pound title fights, Faber dropped to 135 pounds and began his march to the bantamweight title. That run ended in a loss to champ Dominick Cruz at July 2011's UFC 132 event.
Faber (26-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) was originally scheduled to meet Cruz again, but an injury forced the champ out of the bout, and "The California Kid" instead faced Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in the main event of Saturday's UFC 149 event in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Brazilian was masterful in his handling of Faber and earned a clearcut unanimous-decision win and the interim bantamweight belt.
"Barao fought a smart fight," Faber said. "He was really good with his length. He was able to keep me at bay and fight a smart fight.
"I would have liked to have gotten crazy in there a bit, but it probably wouldn't have been the smartest thing. I was trying to punch him in the face, and I didn't get it done."
But the 5-foot-6 Californian said another reinvention simply isn't in the cards. While the road to the bantamweight title may have just been lengthened, Faber said he's committed to climbing the rankings yet again.
"It's just a matter of healing up and then reassess how I want to approach this thing and what I need to do to make it where I win the belt or decide what I want to do from there," Faber said. "I'm going to go home, relax, talk to these guys and see what the deal is."
Cruz, who is currently recovering from a surgery to repair a torn knee ligament, isn't likely to be Faber's next opponent, despite the rivalry that exists between the two and the tension that was evident during the pair's run on "The Ultimate Fighter: Live." And Faber has already challenged and beaten many of the division's best fighters, including Raphael Assuncao, Brian Bowles, Takeya Mizugako, Eddie Wineland and others.
For now, there simply doesn't seem to be a clear next move for the 33-year-old, but UFC president Dana White said he remains a Faber fan and will work to find a proper opportunity.
"He's going to hear about it from Cruz," White said. "But I don't know. It's one of those things we've got to figure out.
"We love Urijah. He's been a great fighter in the WEC and the UFC, so we'll see what happens."
Let him Fight Miguel Torres, even tho that would of been way better back like 4 years ago but whatever
That was th fight back in the WEC days that never happened!...I'd like to see it too
Originally Posted by Drock
Hard to say the former champ's moment in the sun may be past, and I've always been a Faber fan, but after what Aldo did to him at 145, and now what Barao was able to do at 135, it's hard to imagine what resources Uriah can draw on to reinvent himself yet again in hopes of capturing a title.
While I do think with the new rule changes being discussed, weighing effective strikes more heavily, the first Cruz/Faber bout takes on a slightly different context, it seems like Cruz is such a good conceptual fighter, seems to see so clearly what needs to be done and how to do it, not sure a rematch against Faber would end with a different result. Not to mention that while Uriah put in five tough rounds against Barao, having seen the highlights and listened to lots of commentary, (haven't seen the full fight as yet), it sounds like another fighter came up with a very effective game plan against the Faber style, and was able to demonstrate a clear advantage against the former champion.
Whatever happens in the future, I know I'll be anticipating Uriah Faber's return to the octagon, and wishing him success in all his endeavors. I think he's a class guy and a pioneer of the smaller weight classes, having done a lot to bring excitement and respect to the diminutive divisions.
Tags for this Thread