by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
One small mistake cost him the World Extreme
Cagefighting featherweight belt, and Urijah Faber is motivated to take it back.
Of course, motivation isn’t really a problem for
Faber. He trains year-round, lives in a house full of young fighters – Team
Alpha Male – and has an impressive record to protect. His second blemish
went to Mike Brown, who took him off his feet with a right hand as he spun
forward with a backwards elbow at WEC 36. But that’s just grist for the mill.
“I’m motivated when I win, I’m motivated when I
lose,” Faber told MMAWeekly radio. “It just reminds you that you’re not
invincible, and (to) be a little more careful, because I just basically just
made a little mistake and he capitalized on it.”
The two were destined to meet again, but when
Brown injured his rib in the fight, the re-match was shelved. According to Faber,
the WEC pitched him a number of ideas, all of which he said yes to.
Several of the “ideas” turned down a fight with Faber. Jens Pulver was the
eventual decision – an interesting choice, as Faber had faced him last
June. It was a great fight, but Faber won decisively.
“No, I wasn’t upset,” Faber replies when asked
about the repeat. “I really don’t care. When I’m fighting, I’m just fighting. I
take it as it is. It’s two guys that are going to get it on, and find who the
man is. The belt’s nice, but at the end of the day, it’s just a fight to me.”
And for a fighter who’s never really had to wait
for anything, the detour was good for him.
“This game of MMA is a patient one,” he says. “I
think I could have easily gotten the re-match if he was not injured, but I
think it’s fine fighting again, I just have to win.”
The time couldn’t be better for Pulver to spoil
Faber’s plans. A win on Sunday would put the re-match on hold for most of 2009.
Faber was so
attuned to a championship length fight, he “completely forgot” the Pulver fight
was three rounds. A conditioning maniac, the idea seemed almost foreign to him.
“I don’t train for three five-minute (round
fights),” Faber said. “I just went two hours pretty intensely. It’s pretty much
the same training for me.”
He couldn’t finish Pulver in their first meeting,
which has become a goal of the upcoming fight.
“I’m sure he’s feeling the pressure to win,” says
Faber. “I’m just ready for a battle.”
If Sunday’s fight is at all like their first
encounter, the action might look like it’s on fast-forward for a three-round
“It’s going to be a fast-paced fight,” he says.
“I’m not trying to waste any time in there. Trying to get this done; get my
money, get to my after party, and go get my belt.”