When Urijah Faber made the decision to drop down to 135 pounds, it was no secret that the former WEC featherweight champion had his eyes on adding another title belt to his resume. Considering he has the only win over current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, the storyline makes perfect sense.
As Faber gets ready for his November debut at bantamweight against Takeya Mizugaki, the “California Kid” doesn’t shy away from his ultimate goal in the division – winning the belt.
Showing confidence in the abilities he brings to the table at 135 pounds, Faber admits that he’s ready for a title shot right now, but he’ll follow whatever path the WEC puts him on.
“I don’t need any,” Faber responded when asked how many fights he believes he needs to get a title shot. “I guess basically whatever they think is fair.”
Faber last met Cruz in March 2007 with the Sacramento, Calif., based fighter getting the best of the current WEC champion buy guillotine choke at just over one minute into the first round. The two fighters have no love lost for each other, and a rivalry has definitely ensued between the WEC competitors.
Faber knows that Cruz has changed since they last fought, but he also understands that the champion would likely relish the opportunity to avenge the only loss on his resume.
“Dominick Cruz is a guy I fought before, I beat him in his only loss, but he’s done some improvement and he’s earned his spot where he’s at,” Faber said.
Whether Faber has to fight once, twice, or more to get a title shot, as arguably the WEC’s most popular fighter, he’s not holding up his celebrity as a reason to get a crack at the belt. Faber is happy to earn his shot in whatever way the WEC feels fit for him.
“I’m not feeling any type of entitlement to come down there and step right in, but I feel like that wouldn’t be a far stretch,” Faber commented. “I was the kingpin in a weight class above, fighting guys that are bigger than I am, and so whatever they feel comfortable, I’ll fight whoever, whenever, as long as they’re sending the check and I’m having a good time.”
Faber will get his first test at bantamweight on Nov. 11 in Las Vegas where he faces Japanese slugger Takeya Mizugaki in the WEC 52 main event.