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UFC on FOX 9 results: Like it or not, Urijah Faber is the UFC bantamweight number one contender (again)

If Urijah Faber wanted another shot at the 135-pound title after already coming up short on two previous attempts, he was going to have to make a statement against Michael McDonald in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 9. I think it's safe to say the results speak for themselves.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Third time is the charm?

Urijah Faber earned himself another crack at the crown with a dominant performance against 135-pound wunderkind Michael McDonald, which took place in the UFC on FOX 9 co-main event from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, on Dec. 14, 2013.

And he did it standing up.

Most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans -- as well as pundits -- figured Faber would stay out of the red zone against the power-punching McDonald, who was known for having heavy hands. Instead, "The California Kid" threw caution to the wind and went for the kill, socking and rocking the bantamweight upstart before ending his night by way of guillotine choke.

Extra, extra, read all about it.

In doing so, Faber (30-6) has put himself in a position to fight the winner of Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Pegado, who collide in the main event of the UFC 169 pay-per-view (PPV) inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Feb. 1, 2014.

I know what you're thinking.

After all, it feels like it wasn't that long ago when the Team Alpha Male-product was falling to "Barao" by way of unanimous decision and all things considered, it wasn't. They first did the dance back in July 2012, but Faber is one of the busier fighters on the ZUFFA roster, competing four times since his loss at UFC 149.

His record during that span is 4-0 with three submission finishes.

That moves him to 6-2 inside the Octagon and judging by the official UFC rankings, Faber is sitting pretty at number two behind the champion and interim champion. The next closest contenders are McDonald, Raphael Assuncao and Eddie Wineland, to round out the top five.

Faber has beaten them all and for my money, has never looked better.

It helps that he holds a win over Dominick Cruz back in the days of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and they were already booked to settle their score prior to the "Dominator's" horrific knee injury, but should "Barao" unify the belts in "Dirty Jersey," Faber should still get the next title shot. There isn't anyone in the division more qualified.

Michael McDonald can attest to that.

For full results and live play-by-play of all the UFC on FOX action, including the Facebook and FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" bouts click here. For videos, reactions and more, check out our "Johnson vs. Benavidez 2" live story stream right here.

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