MMAmania's Brian Hemminger takes a closer look at last night's UFC 157 main card bout between top bantamweights Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar. What helped Faber secure yet another submission victory following a defeat? Find out below.
This fight was actually a rematch of a 2006 fight which ended via disqualification after "The Pride of El Salvador" nailed Faber with an illegal kick to a grounded opponent in the second round.
This time around, however, there would be no shenanigans as the finish would come clean in the first frame.
Early on, Menjivar tried to land some kicks from distance while Faber pressed forward looking to score with his heavy right hand. As Faber backed Menjivar towards the fence, potentially hunting for a takedown, he was tossed over Menjivar's shoulder with a beautiful judo throw, but Menjivar left enough space for "The California Kid" to not only avoid being put on bottom, but to actually take top position on the ground.
Faber went after Menjivar from within his guard, pounding away with elbows whenever he could posture up and drop some.
Menjivar had had enough of the elbows and he tried to escape back to his feet but in the ensuing scramble, he gave up his back for an instant and Faber immediately jumped on him, sinking in both hooks on his standing opponent and quickly attacking with a rear naked choke attempt.
The Tristar product fended off the first submission, but Faber snaked his arm underneath Menjivar's chin and this time, he didn't give his opponent and opportunity to escape, latching on the choke and forcing Menjivar to tap out with 26 seconds remaining in the round.
For Ivan Menjivar, he didn't get much offense in during this bout other than that terrific throw early in the first round. His biggest mistake was not securing top position and being content to have just tossed Faber to the canvas and before he knew it, he was already on his back and eating elbows. That's clearly not a fun situation to be in so it's not surprising he was willing to take a risk to try and get back to his feet, but it didn't pay off as it helped set up the fight ending submission. There wasn't much Menjivar could have done as he was simply facing a superior opponent last night.
Next up for Menjivar could be a rematch against Brad Pickett, which was one of the best fights of 2010. Other potential bouts include Michael McDonald or possibly Brian Bowles if he ever returns from obscurity.
For Urijah Faber, he was in excellent form last night. Every time he's ever lost a fight, he not only comes back and wins his next bout, but he also has submitted his opponent. For real. Six losses, six bounceback wins via submission and it has all occurred against some pretty impressive opponents like Raphael Assuncao, Brian Bowles Takeya Mizugako and now Menjivar. Faber was all over Menjivar once the fight went to the ground with some very nice elbows and his transition to his opponent's back was a thing of beauty. Once he had his hooks in, it was only a matter of time until he sunk in the choke and there was no escape.
Faber may have earned another title shot with his strong showing last night, but that wouldn't happen until the end of the year. In the interim, he should fight someone like Scott Jorgensen in what would be a pretty fun battle.