Last night (Sat., Aug. 17, 2013), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight fighters Urijah Faber and Yuri Alcantara took to the Octagon to do battle on the main card of UFC Fight Night 26 from TD Bank Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
The bout was a dangerous one for the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champion Faber, as he looked to extend his win streak against a formidable opponent who most casual mixed martial arts (MMA) fans had never heard of. The action started rapidly, as Alcantara came out charging and tossed Faber to the mat with surprising ease. Alcantara mounted the No. 3-ranked Faber in the opening moments of the fight, giving notice that this would not be an easy win for "California Kid."
After looking for a submission, Alcantara made a smooth switch to take Faber's back and throw some punches.
Faber came back with a strong slam of his own, landing in top position to rain down some strong blows. Throughout the remainder of the first round, Faber continued to control Alcantara on the mat while landing significant strikes. This gave him momentum heading into the second stanza, and Faber kept the ball rolling when the bell rung.
When Alcantara sought out a kimura early on, Faber impressed by quickly spinning his opponent to the ground. Following up with strikes, Faber also scored with a good knee when his opponent got back to his feet. Faber appeared to grow stronger as the fight wore on, showing the excellent conditioning that he and his Team Alpha Male fighters swear by.
Faber continued to take down Alcantara and smother him, landing big elbows in a one-sided second round. When the last round began, Faber looked as if he could fight several more rounds. "California Kid" threw a nice overhand right before going back to his effective grappling, once again landing on top. Credit has to be given to Alcantara for attempting some submissions off of his back, but a true opening never materialized on the top-flight Faber, who notched the unanimous decision victory.
With the win, Faber extends his win streak to three in his quest to obtain the UFC Bantamweight championship. He'll have to wait for the messy title picture between champion Dominick Cruz and interim champion Renan Barao to get sorted out, but if Faber continues to churn out impressive win after impressive win, it'll get increasingly tough to deny him another shot at the belt.
The only problem is that Faber has lost the last five title fights he's been in, which may be cause for critics to say that he can't win the big fight. However, even after all these years, Faber still has a ton of gas left in the tank and can usually dismantle everyone except his division's champion.
Young destroyer Michael McDonald finished off the always-tough Brad Pickett via submission last night. The 22-year-old McDonald could be a great gauge to see if Faber can still contend with the true elite at Bantamweight. A Faber vs. McDonald bout could potentially serve as a No 1 contender bout for the winner of the inevitable Cruz vs. Barao title fight, which will hopefully take place in early 2014.
For Alcantara, he probably won't be downgraded too much for a loss to one of the division's best fighters, but he will need a couple of quality wins to crack the top ten. If he wants to achieve that status, he'll have to get very active at 33-years old in an increasingly more talented division.