In just a few short weeks, Urijah Faber will be entering uncharted waters in MMA.
It’s hard to believe that an 8-year veteran of the sport with more than 30 fights hasn’t seen most everything MMA could throw at him, but Faber is about to embark on a trip to the new version of the Ultimate Fighter and even he’s not sure what’s going to happen.
Faber will be coaching the reality show alongside rival and UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
Unlike past versions of the show where the coaches led their team for six weeks and then broke apart to head home to their own training camps, this time when the show debuts on FX in March, the show will be filmed and shown in real time with both Faber and Cruz preparing for their eventual showdown alongside their teams.
Faber has built one of the premier teams in all of MMA at his Team Alpha Male squad in Sacramento, but with the bantamweight title on the line and 12 weeks spent on the Ultimate Fighter, what will he do to make sure he’s fully prepared?
“I haven’t really figured it out yet,” Faber told MMAWeekly Radio. “We’re trying to get all the details of the housing and how it’s going to work, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. I think being able to adjust to new situations is something that’s one of my strengths. I’ve trained in Vegas before, I don’t necessarily like Vegas, but it’s only a short flight from Sacramento so I’m ready to go for that.”
The current idea Faber is floating around is virtually moving his Team Alpha Male camp, at least the majority of it, to Las Vegas to help him prepare for his showdown with Cruz and help his team of fighters on the reality show.
“Yeah, we’re definitely going to have the majority of the guys out there at least for some portion of the show. The guys that can do it will probably be out there for the full three months. It’s going to be fun, we’re going to take Vegas by storm,” Faber said.
The timing should work out well for most of Team Alpha Male’s top starts to relocate to Vegas. Chad Mendes fights this weekend at UFC 142 against Jose Aldo, and assuming he comes out injury free he should be free to help Faber starting in March.
Newly minted flyweight star Joseph Benavidez fights on March 3 to kick off the new UFC 125lb division, and Danny Castillo is just off a four fight 2011 capped off with a win on Dec 30 over Anthony Njokuani. Add in some coaches and some young fighters like former NCAA runner-up Lance Palmer, who could serve as a wrestling advisor, and Faber may have already built the perfect team within a team for TUF 15.
Faber isn’t so sure however that Cruz will have the same luck building his squad when they arrive in Las Vegas in March.
“I’ve been in this sport for 8 years, and I had to be in a lot of different places, so being in a new environment, and having to bring my whole training camp out there is not that big of a deal for me, but Dominick, he’s always got a chip on his shoulder anyways and complains about stuff, I can see him having an issue with it,” Faber stated.
Faber is excited for the opportunity and eventually settling his trilogy of fights and rivalry with Dominick Cruz. The ‘California Kid’ is already motivated to beat Cruz and take the belt, but after 12 weeks spent together on the show, he’ll be more ready than ever.
“I’m already ready to punch him in the face,” Faber said. “So being in each other’s face for 3 months will definitely do the trick.”