Former WEC champion Urijah Faber put on possibly his strongest performance since moving to 135lbs, finishing Brian Bowles with a guillotine choke to earn another crack at his rival Cruz and the bantamweight title.
Like a man on a mission, Faber executed the perfect game plan to capitalize on everything that Bowles left open for him.
Mixing up his strikes with wrestling, Faber was strong in the opening stanza, but one thing that kept happening was his attempt to land a big uppercut. While he didn’t hit it much in the first round, Faber obviously saw an opening that he felt he could take advantage of.
Faber showed why in the second round.
Lunging forward with a huge uppercut, Faber blasted Bowles’ jaw, and as his head flew backwards, the California native pushed forward as they fell into the cage and to the ground. Faber says that’s a move he picked up from his training partner and current TUF 14 finalist, T.J. Dillashaw.
“Call out to T.J. Dillashaw, you guys see T.J. on the ‘Ultimate Fighter’, that’s my boy right there and he gets everybody with that,” Faber commented when talking about the uppercut.
Faber continued his assault as Bowles could only hold on and try to persevere. A devastating knee to the body opened Bowles’ defense, and Faber pushed forward again snatching one of his signature guillotine chokes.
Bowles tried to defend, but just had no answer and had to tap out, giving Faber the win and another shot to face his rival Dominick Cruz.
Faber says he knew that he just had to break Brian Bowles’ will because he’s as mentally strong as any fighter in the division, and that was the way to beat him.
“I know that Bowles is very tough, his biggest thing is he’s mentally strong, and that’s my biggest thing. I felt like I could go anywhere in this fight, showcase my hands a little bit, cause I know he’ll stand right there and trade with me cause he’s a warrior,” Faber said.
Once the fight was over, it didn’t take long for Faber to say hello to his good friend Dominick Cruz, who he will likely meet next.
“That’s how you finish fights. Dominick you can run but you can’t hide, homeboy,” Faber stated. “Throw some gel in that widow’s peak, let’s do some work. Let’s battle.”
The Faber/Cruz trilogy could be one of the biggest if not the biggest fight in the history of the bantamweight division. The two heated rivals will settle the score in the Octagon in 2012.