by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com

Since the purchase of World Extreme Cagefighting by Zuffa, the Ultimate<br /> Fighting Championship’s parent company, “The California




Since the purchase of World Extreme Cagefighting by Zuffa,
the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company, “The California Kid”
Urijah Faber has seemingly become the face of the promotion. On Dec. 12, he
will face what is likely his toughest test to date when he squares off against
veteran Jeff Curran in defense of his featherweight title.


After defending his title against Chance Farrar in June,
Faber has been awaiting an opponent worthy of a shot for his 145-pound
divisional crown and Curran is exactly the caliber of fighter needed for such a


But is Curran the toughest fighter that Faber has faced yet?


“I’ve had some pretty tough opponents, so I wouldn’t say for
sure that he is, but he’s definitely up there. I’ve had some tough opponents, but
for whatever reason I don’t make them look that tough. It seems like people
discredit fighters after I beat them, but there’s a lot of good guys who I’ve
fought with.”


Faber stated that he hasn’t had this long of a layoff
between fights in a long time, but feels confident he’ll be ready for the
challenge Curran presents.


“This is the longest layoff I’ve had not due to injury since
I’ve been in the fight game. I’m itching to get in there and fight,” said the


“When you have such an active schedule like I do, you don’t
really get to look at things like putting on weight, actively making sure that
I’m at my peak level. I’ve had a long break and I’ve really got to focus on
individual parts of my game, not only the MMA side, sharpening up on my hands,
and practicing away on some techniques in jiu-jitsu, and working on building up
my size.”


Preparing for a five-round title fight, Faber is used to
this style of fight having conditioned himself for championship defenses
previously and this camp is nothing new.


“I’m always training for long fights. It’s not that I don’t
like to go the distance, I just haven’t had the opportunity because the
opponents haven’t been there ready to go.”


He may very well have to go all five rounds for the first
time in his career as Jeff Curran is as good as they come in the featherweight
division and is never easily finished.


“I think Curran is really hard to finish, known for going
the distance with tough opponents. I don’t think it’s out of the question that
it could happen here. I look forward to being tested and he’s definitely one
of the guys that can do it.”


Many fighters have struggled going for five rounds, not able
to condition their bodies for that long of a fight, but Faber won’t hold back
at any point in his fight with Curran to reserve energy.


“I don’t pace myself. I try to finish it and I don’t think
Jeff Curran’s the type of guy who is going to pace himself either.”


With the fight nearing, the WEC’s reigning and defending
featherweight champion is confident the bout is going to go his way.


“It’s going to be one of the most exciting fights in the
history of MMA. I’m hoping and I’m predicting I’ll be victorious.”