Sure, Urijah Faber was just finishing up the holidays and just got back from Mexico, but when he got that call from UFC President Dana White asking if he would step in to fight for the title in three-and-a-half weeks against interim champion Renan Barao, there was no way he was turning it down.
“Dana called and when Dana calls you pick up, it’s usually some sort of interesting news. So I knew something was up,” Faber told FOX Sports. “So he calls and says ‘here’s the situation, Dominick Cruz is out, he ripped his groin and it’s pretty serious’ and just wanted to know if I could step up in three and a half weeks. I was like yep, let’s do it. Took me about two seconds.”
Faber was just ready for the opportunity. This will be Faber’s third shot at UFC gold, and he doesn’t want to miss the few chances he may have left to win the UFC title that has eluded him.
“I’m the type of guy that feels like opportunities, [if] they come you’ve got to take them because you never really know what’s going to happen in this world as the tale is with Dominick,” he said.
The rivalry between Cruz and Faber has been brewing for a while, as the two are still 1-1 against each other. Cruz defeated Faber at UFC 132 in 2011 by a controversial decision, and Faber beat Cruz at WEC 26 in 2007 by a one arm guillotine submission. Although there is bad blood between them, and they have yet to reconcile their differences in the cage for a third time, Faber still wishes Cruz well.
“I feel for the guy. We don’t really like each other, but we’ve had some communication throughout the years and I’ve talked to him about this and we still want to fight each other,” Faber said. “There’s no doubt, the guy’s too stubborn not to get back on the horse and heal up eventually. I’ll be cheering for him to heal up so I can punch him again.”
Now after four straight victories in 2013, with three of those coming via submission, Faber is now set to face off against Barao at UFC 169, who was the last man to defeat him. Faber is excited for the rematch and said he will be completely different fighter than the one who fought Barao at UFC 149.
“I think it was a really close fight the last time and, barring a few punches and kicks here and there, it was an uneventful fight,” Faber said. “I’m going to make this fight eventful, I’m going to make it exciting, I’m going to let it all hang out and I know he’s going to do the same.”
“I’m just going to be a whole different fighter and he’s going to have to be, because I’m going to be bringing it,” he added.Tags: Bantamweights, California Kid, Dana White, Dominick Cruz, mma, MMA NEWS, ufc, UFC 149, UFC 169, ufc champion, ufc news, ufc title, Urijah Faber