Although Urijah Faber has failed to reach the very top of the bantamweight division, the renowned fighter keeps scoring big wins to remain within striking distance. Just when some critics have been tempted to predict the 34 year-old fighter’s slide down the ranks, Faber has gone out and taken out tough, top ranked fighters like Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen. As a result, the former WEC champ is currently sitting at the #2 spot in the UFC’s 135 pound division, with only interim champ Renan Barao and reigning champ Dominick Cruz ahead. That’s not a bad position to be in.
Up next, however, Faber has been tapped for a August 17th, UFC on FS1 1 bout with Yuri Alcantara, who is rising up the ranks, but is currently not positioned in the top ten. As a result, it’s a bit of a tough spot for Faber to be in, as the “California Kid” won’t move up if he wins, but if he loses, well…The 28-6 fighter recently told MMA Junkie.com:
“The face didn’t pop into my head when they said his name, but I remember seeing the guy fight, and he’s very tough,” Faber said about Alcantara, who is coming off a first round KO over Iliarde Santos at UFC on FX 8. “It’s a dangerous fight in a lot of ways for me, but that’s where I’m at in my career – where I’m not necessarily gaining a ton from this fight other than the fight itself.”
Faber added “nobody knows who the heck he is and there’s nothing really to gain,” and because Alcantara is “ranked #13″ it’s a “dangerous fight.” The vet also rightfully noted, however, that the UFC didn’t have a lot of options in the opponent department currently for Faber. Michael McDonald is booked to fight Brad Pickett on the same Boston bound card, Faber already has a 2011 win over Eddie Wineland, and Raphael Assuncao just took out Vaughan Lee this weekend at UFC on FUEL TV 10.
Of course, Faber deserves credit for recognizing and accepting the tricky position he’s in, which really is a result of his continued success. At the end of the day, fighting rising fighters is probably better than battling declining stars.
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