By Jake Chastain
| “The California Kid” Urijah Faber currently finds himself in a pretty tricky situation. The UFC bantamweight is one of the most well known and accomplished athletes in current mixed martial arts today but Faber has been walking around for the past four and a half years without an MMA title to represent his accolades. Still, even though Faber has been unable to completely scale the championship mountain since losing his WEC title back in 2008, he has never left the top of any division he’s ever competed in. And surprisingly, he’s ok with that.
Obviously, every fighter’s goal is to hold gold, but when you become as successful and popular as Faber your place in the sport becomes more than championships and title fights. Even though Faber is not currently a champion he is still one of the most skilled, dominant, and biggest draws that the UFC has in its lighter weight class stables. So, at this point in his career, it seems that Faber is more focused on fighting big fights for the fans and cementing his place in the history of MMA by fighting the best fighters on the planet, regardless of who has the strap. In an interview with the New York Post Faber touched on the subject by stating, “I’m in a weird spot in the sport being one of the biggest names in the lighter weight division, but not having a bunch of guys with big names to fight. When it comes to the big fights, they’re not necessarily for the belt for me. Barao is still not the biggest fight for me. It’s kind of a weird predicament. I want to do the ones that count, the ones that people care about. Someone else that has a big fan base.”
In the modern day of MMA every title fight a competitor gets has to be his or her best performance to that date because, let’s face it, the chances of making it back for another shot at the belt if you lose are very low. However, Faber has been the exception to that rule. Unlike other fighters Faber has been back to fight for the belt on several occasions. Every single loss that “The Cali Kid” has ever been handed has been in a title fight…six to be exact. And most of those losses were very close, competitive battles. Each time though, again unlike other fighters, Faber is able to pick himself back up after a failed attempt at a title and string together multiple wins in an effort that eventually always gets him back to that coveted title fight.
Faber has represented and lead his camp in Sacramento, California, Team Alpha Male, with one exciting, competitive, and skillful performance after another. Over his career Faber has competed in a total of 21 title fights. That’s over half of his professional fights. That, ladies and gents, is no coincidence. Faber is going nowhere, and even if he is not currently 100% focused on getting another title shot anytime soon the reality is that he is one of the best in the game and will likely get that chance once again…and will probably walk into the fight with a very good chance at walking away with that belt. And for anyone that is in denial of the skills and title deserving qualities that Faber possesses he simply says, “I’ve been at the top for a long time. To all the critics, all the people complaining about me getting another title shot, motherf—–r, I’m still here.”
And at only 34 years young, the fact that he’s currently riding a two fight winning streak with two consecutive finishes over respectable opponents (Jorgensen & Menjivar), and with new coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig in his corner I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon. Believe that.
A special Happy Birthday shout out to Urijah: From all of us here at BJPenn.com, Cheers Mr. Faber!
You can follow Urijah Faber on Twitter @UrijahFaberTags: bantamweight, Duane Ludwig, MMA NEWS, team alpha male, ufc, ufc bantamweights, ufc news, Urijah Faber, WEC