Faber said at the post-fight press conference that he tore his hamstring leading into UFC 169, but followed through with the fight because he felt he had to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Eight days into this camp I tore my hamstring [and] bruised my patella tendon,” Faber revealed. “I was doing hyperbaric chamber, everything I could to heal up and I felt great.”
Faber said he was able to do mitt work to prepare for a striking exchange with Barao, but sparring wasn’t in the books for the former WEC featherweight champion. Faber said his injury allowed him to spar only one time in the lead-up to Saturday’s pay-per-view.
Despite the injury and lack of sparring time, Faber said he still felt great in the fight.
“It was just a minor tear of my hamstring and a deep bruise of my patella tendon,” he said. “I was doing mitt work like twice a day. I wasn’t able to spar. I only sparred once for this camp, but honestly today I felt great coming into the fight. I was worried about that coming in, but things just healed in time.”
Faber took the Barao fight on short notice after former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was forced off the card with an injury. “The California Kid” said he would have preferred a longer camp to prepare for a fight with someone like Barao, but added that he’s a believer of taking advantage of any opportunity he gets, no matter the circumstances.
“I would have liked a longer training camp, of course, but this isn’t a world where you get to chose your opportunities and you have to take advantage of the ones you get – I’m a believer in that,” he said. “You look for opportunities, not guarantees. Today I thought I was going to win the fight, 100 percent. That’s why I took it.”
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