Once counted among the vaunted “nearly indestructible” in mixed martial arts, former WEC champion Urijah Faber has become human over the past few years.
Starting out with an impressive run to 21-1 to start his career, including capturing and defending the WEC featherweight championship, Faber has since gone 5-5 in the cage.
He lost the WEC belt to Mike Brown in late 2008 and has yet to return gold to his waist. Faber failed in three attempts to regain the belt in the WEC, and at UFC 149 on Saturday night in Calgary, was unsuccessful in his second attempt at a UFC belt.
Renan Barão utilized much the same strategy as his teammate, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, to overcome Faber, using kicks and knees to slow his mobility en route to a unanimous decision.
That puts Faber’s failed attempts to regain a title at five. Most fighters rarely see that number of title fights even from the winning side of the equation, so where does Faber go from here?
“I don't know. I fought a guy on a huge win streak and didn't get it done. I fought Dominick (Cruz), who is considered the champ right now, as well,” Faber reflected at the UFC 149 post-fight press conference. “I'm right there, it's just a matter of continuing to heal up and then reassess this thing.”
UFC president Dana White agreed, saying that it would be good to let things settle for a little bit before they determine Faber’s next move.
One move that won’t be happening, despite Faber dropping weight classes in the past, is another move down on the scale.
“Pffft. No way,” Faber laughed when asked about whether or not a drop down to 125 pounds was even possible for him. “I put on 18 pounds last night (after weighing in at 135 pounds on Friday). I would probably not be here if I was attempting 125s. No, 135s is where I'll be.”
Thinking that he may have suffered a broken rib early on in the fight, Faber doesn’t need to make any rash decisions. He’ll need some time to heal up before he can determine his career strategy and get back in the gym.
He certainly doesn’t sound like a man that has given up, however.
Disappointed? Yes. But to the point of giving up? No.
“This is what I do for a living, so this isn't anything that new, really.”