"Where will Urijah Faber go from here?"
That was one of the questions echoing in the air after UFC 149 wrapped this past weekend (July 21, 2012) after "The California Kid" failed to capture Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold, dropping a unanimous decision to Renan Barao in the main event of the evening.
Fighting through a broken rib, aside from the constant boos from the crowd, Faber fought valiantly for the full 25 minutes, but failed to mount any crowd and judge-pleasing offense to sway the scorecards his way. On the flip side, Barao earned the promotion's Interim Bantamweight title and extended his unbeaten streak to 29 in a row and will likely face the current 135-pound champion, Dominick Cruz, down the road to unify the titles.
Faber, on the other hand, will be left to pick up the pieces and start from scratch.
Seeing that he will likely not receive another title shot anytime soon, given the fact the two of his last three bouts in the UFC were championship fights, he will definitely have his work cut out for him if he hopes to climb back up to the top of the mountain.
According to Faber, he won't have to climb too high.
Appearing on The MMA Hour today (July 23. 2012), Urijah talked about his performance at UFC 149 this past weekend in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, what he feels was biased commentary, and where he feels his career will go from this point forward.
Check it out:
"I feel pretty good, I watched the fight and after the fight, I didn't feel like I had won the fight, but I didn't know why exactly. I wasn't really beat up, I know I broke my rib in the first round and my leg hurt a little bit. I watched it and I was an uneventful fight a little bit. I just didn't do enough at any given time to say 'I won that round.' That was unfortunate to watch. I landed some punches and he would land some, mostly on the back of my head with his wide, long hooks and he landed like five good kicks. (Joe) Rogan was, the commentary was crazy. He was like building his own storyline on it and stuff like that. (Rogan) was talking about how I was immobile and stuff like that, but I was moving the whole time. That was part of the thing was a lot of movement, and stuff like that. But I just wasn't agreeing with what he was saying, like 'the pain!' or 'oh, he's limping,' or 'he's really hurt here.' I guess my rib was hurt, but I don't know, it was just kind of weird. The whole thing, it was too slow for me. But, I just didn't do enough man, so it kind of sucks."
Faber clarified the punches were not illegal, they just found their mark on the back of his head more than anything else. "The California Kid" elaborated on the broken rib he suffered in the first round and answered whether or not the injury affected his performance.
He did, however, refuse to make any excuses:
"I mean, I guess. The thing is that I knew exactly when I hurt it. I couldn't remember after the fight when it was. I just remembered I caught a knee and I was like, 'Alright, I broke my rib.' Then I watched the fight and it was two and a half minutes into the first round and they showed a replay of the knee and he hit me like in the back. I decided not to say anything in the corner because I wanted to hear what the coaches had to say. I don't know how much it really affected me, I never, I mean I don't know how many other people fought with broken ribs and stuff like that."
Despite his most recent setback, Faber feels he is still at the top of the division and people shouldn't count him out just yet."
"I'm right there with the top guys. Renan Barao is on a 30-fight win streak. I don't feel like I was beat up in the fight, I feel like I just lost. I didn't do enough to win. I landed some good punches, I was elusive in the fight. I just fought Dominick Cruz, I thought won that fight, I knocked him down three times, didn't really take too much damage there also. It's not like I'm getting severely outclassed here by any of these guys. I'm just a smidgen off and I've got some things to work on. The bottom line is, in the last nine years, I've been fighting guys at the top five of the weight class, at whatever the given time is. I don't think that needs to change. Would I like get some 'fight of the night' bonuses? Could I get some bonuses on big fights against [lower ranked guys]? Sure, some entry level guys. But I'm right there at the top, man. I'm right there in the running. If you can line up some guys that are going to beat me up and put me out the running, then let's do that. But until then, I'm just going to keep training and stay positive."
Urijah, for one, isn't opposed to the idea.