At UFC 169 Urijah Faber will step into the Octagon for his 11th title fight (fifth as the challenger) under the Zuffa banner against newly-crowned undisputed UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão – but will this be his last chance at the gold?
Title chances don’t come often or at all for some fighters, but for The Californian Kid that is not the case. Despite Urijah holding multiple records for title defences in the WEC his UFC title matches haven’t had the same success.
By Michael McDonald
Since losing the WEC featherweight title to Mike Brown, he hasn’t had any success in title fights which begs the question – how many more chances will he get?
It’s a strange predicament that Urijah finds himself in. One which UFC President Dana White describes as the “Vitor Belfort zone”. For those who are unaware of this term it simply means dominating everybody but ultimately losing the big one.
With Urijah losing his last four title fights, Dana’s comments are justified. However, with the 34-year-old veteran showing resurgence and riding a four-fight win streak since his first encounter with Renan Barão, does it mean that Faber can finally claim the championship that has alluded him?
Faber finds himself in a must win position. With career options and chances fading, anything short of a win could kill the career of one of MMA’s most talented fighters.
With a previous loss to the 26-year-old champion, who is also riding a 31-fight win streak, the pressure for Faber is at an all-time high. To avoid losing this time he may have to reevaluate his game plan. Failing to do so will leave him reevaluating his career.
The next 25 minutes of Faber’s career will be his most important as this could be his last chance to win the belt that has eluded him. A win on Superbowl weekend would validate his wonderful career.
For Urijah it is all or nothing.