Former WEC featherweight titleholder Urijah Faber is set to make his bantamweight debut at WEC 52 on Nov. 11 against Takeya Mizugaki and recently spoke with MMAWeekly.com about the weight cut and decision to drop to the 135-pound division.
We’ve seen weight cutting take it’s toll on fighters, most recently with Jake Shields’ return to the welterweight division in his UFC debut after competing as a middleweight, but Faber doesn’t anticipate any issues because he was a smaller featherweight competing against bigger opponents.
“The whole reason I’m able to do this is because I’m the same size as all the 135-pounders anyways,” said Faber. “It’s just not going to be like at 145 where I could eat full meals the night before weigh-ins and stuff like that. It’s not necessarily going to be the worst thing in the world, but it’s not going to be fun either.”
Faber saw the writing on the wall with the competition at 145 growing bigger in talent and size in recent years.
“I knew this was going to happen. When I first started fighting I wanted to fight at 135, but no one was offering the weight class. I went up two weight classes and I came back down to 145 and made a stand and said, hey, I’m going to fight here and really helped to build up that weight class,” Faber told MMAWeekly Radio.
“The bottom line is it’s getting more competitive and it’s just like college wrestling now. It wasn’t as competitive because there wasn’t as many eyes on the sport. I’ve been the same size as 135-pounders for a while,” he added.
“When I fought Jose Aldo I walked into the cage around 153. Mike Brown said he was 166. We were fighting in the same weight class and 13 pounds difference. Basically that’s kind of what you’re looking at. I’ve been doing really well even though I’ve been giving up some size.”
“The California Kid” says the transition to the lower weight class hasn’t been too difficult and he’s only had to trim off about five to seven pounds of mass.
“It’s been going really well,” Faber said of the weight cut. “I feel like I’m back in college, which is not necessarily a great thing because I was cutting weight all through college. I feel really good at about 147 to 149 pounds. That’s where I’m walking around at now.
“It’s just basically been not having to stuff myself and being real strict on my diet. I feel great.”