by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Urijah Faber’s debut at 135 pounds came to an abrupt halt recently when the California fighter succumbed to a knee injury that forced him out of his fight with Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 50 in August.
Faber is expected to return at the Sept. 30 WEC 51 event instead. The fight will still be at 135 pounds, but it’s not a permanent move.
“We have been talking privately about the drop to 35 for over a year,” said Faber’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. “Not because Urijah doesn’t want to fight at 145. Urijah has wanted to compete at both weights for the better part of a year and a half.
“This is not a permanent drop. Urijah is going to fight at both weight classes, and he wants to fight the best fights possible for the fans.”
In his camp at Team Alpha Male, Faber trains with some of the best fighters in his weight class, setting up potential showdowns with friends and training partners. The good thing about competing in dual weight classes is that he will have no shortage of other top opponents to face off with.
“The strange thing about 135 is that he’s got Joseph (Benavidez) in that weight class already, which there’s no scenario where they would fight each other,” Roberts confirmed. “Charlie Valencia is a training partner. Scott Jorgensen is a part time training partner. So it kind of creates some unique situations at 135 for Urijah.
“I think if he had to he would fight Jorgensen, but it’s more just getting the fights. There’s (Brian) Bowles, (Takeya) Mizugaki, there’s (Rani) Yahya, there’s Miguel (Torres), which is a super fight everybody would want to see. There’s a lot of great opportunities for Urijah at 135 pounds, as well as 145 pounds.”
The list of fights goes on and on for Faber. The “California Kid” is still arguably the promotion’s top star, and any number of match-ups could make for a featured bout on a WEC event.
Don’t rule out a title run for Faber at 135 pounds either, as he currently holds the last win over current champion Dominick Cruz when the two met at 145 pounds in 2007.
Faber will rehab his knee, which does not require surgery, in hopes of making his bantamweight debut at the end of September at WEC 51.