In the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale Urijah Faber forced Scott Jorgensen to tap out to a rear-naked choke in the fourth round of their bantamweight battle. What’s next for pretty boy Faber? Will he step up and fight Renan Barao?
On Saturday February 23rd, at UFC 157 Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche will meet inside the Octagon at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The two will be the first women fighting in the UFC, and they will be battling for the women’s bantamweight title which was awarded to Rousey by default during a “UFC on Fox 5″ pre-fight press conference. Liz Carmouche (8-2, 5 KOs) has more experience in the MMA world than Rousey (6-0,). However, Rousey is recognized around the world as the face of women’s MMA, previously held by Gina Carano. With only six professional fights, and 6 first round submissions via armbar, Rousey has thrust herself into the limelight. Nonetheless, we have yet to see Rousey’s jaw get tested, can she take a punch, can she weather a storm, nobody knows because none of her fights have gotten to that point.
Also on this stacked card is Machida vs. Henderson. The winner of this could end up meeting Jon Jones if and when he defeats Chael Sonnen. I find this fight very interesting because Dan Henderson has become more one dimensional during his recent success. He loads up that right nicknamed the H-Bomb, and he lets it rip, which has proved to be pretty damn effective. His opponent Lyoto Machida just might be the most elusive fighter in UFC history. Machida is crafty, unorthodox, a great striker, and this could prove to be very challenging for Dan Henderson who has the tendency to just come straight forward with that loaded right hand. Urijah Faber finds himself in a must win situation, a loss here could really hurt his clout, and raise the question where does he go from here. He will meet Ivan Menjivar who by no means is an easy fight.
Josh Koshcheck will meet slugger Robbie Lawler who is back in the UFC after a long absence. Robbie Lawler has struggled lately in the Octagon, and its usually when he gets caught in a submission. If Koshcheck wants to win this fight, he’ll play it smart and immediately take it to the ground. If he chooses to stand and bang with Lawler, he could quickly find himself snoring. Brendan Schaub meets Lavar Johnson, expect this fight to be over in the first round with one of these guys flat on their back, no need to say more. Other exciting bouts has Court McGee vs. Josh Neer, Michael Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen, and Sam Stout vs Caros Fodor.
Another loss was the result of last Saturday’s UFC title fight as Urijah “The California Kid” was once again denied a title. The fight ended with a unanimous decision to the new interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao at the UFC 149 main event at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Barao kept Faber on the outside as he landed cleaner shots. It was clear that Faber never found his opportunity during their five-round fight last Saturday that cost him the title fight.
When Faber was interviewed shortly after the fight, he mentions: “I knew he was very tough. I have a difficult time with guys who are really good at defending takedowns and really good at leg kicks.” His comments on Barao’s win: “I was doing a pretty good job of avoiding the leg kicks, but I just wasn’t able to get off with my offense like I wanted to.” He further added that Barao was really great in keeping the distance from him that he did not stand a chance.
Faber’s injury happened as a knee strike from Barao came earlier in the bout. “I was a little shaken up. He got me with a knee either in the first round or early in the second. I think I have a broken rib…”
But the fight was not a delight of the audiences at all; the crowd was even heard booing the bantamweights and the main event contest was a slow pay-per-view drawer as well.
Faber commented on the booing audience: “You never want to hear boos, but you’re more concerned about the guy trying to take your head off [and give you] broken ribs and swollen legs and all that stuff.” He added that he just did his best even when the crowd booed in the sidelines. He admitted that his opponent fought a smart fight: “He’s really good with his length, and he was able to keep me at bay. I would have liked to have gotten a little crazy in there, but jumping around like a wild man and doing something stupid probably wouldn’t have been the smartest thing. I was trying to punch him in the face, but I did not get it done.”
Faber was initially primed for “The Dominator” Dominick Cruz but the fighter was forced to withdraw from the fight because of an injury.