Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can Faber get up for Brown?

One thing about smaller promotions is often questionable title fight matchups...and when you have a world-class pound-for-pound guy like Urijah Faber in a relatively rinky-dink org like the WEC, it can be exacerbated. Case in point: Mike Brown vs. Faber for the WEC 145lb belt September 10.
No way am I saying Brown is not a valid opponent...his record is fine at 17-4, with his only losses coming against the upper echelon of fighters: Hermes Franca in his pro debut, Genki Sudo (I've been installing Linux lately and seeing "sudo" makes me wonder what I need superuser privs for), Imanari (via leglock, duh) and the feisty Joe Lauzon (all his losses are by sub). He's got a few quality wins (I am not familiar with every fighter, so obviously at a given time an opponent could have been ranked higher), Yves Edwards, Jeff Curran, and Mark Hominick. He's a veteran with skills.
The issue is Urijah Faber. He appears to be a hardcore fighter who loves it for the sake of it. But so did Chuck Liddell going in against Keith Jardine. I realize they're different fighters at different points in their careers, but you gotta admit that Liddell didn't get up for Jardine, came in with no gameplan other than "knock this ugly fucker out" and looked pretty befuddled losing a decision, despite abrading Jardine pretty badly. Is there a fighter who can come in against Faber and do the same thing? While Urijah is one of the most aggressive fighters to ever step in the cage, aggression CAN be countered by a skilled & prepared opponent.
So it's possible that someone can face Faber with a smart plan and beat him. Likely? Probably not...not without some luck. Faber's only loss was to Tyson Griffin, and that came fighting over his natural weight and after a freak cut on the cage. The far more likely scenario is Faber getting a taste of mainstream fame and reading his own press. I don't care how dedicated an athlete you are, that stuff can get in your head. High-level athletics also naturally selects for super-confident individuals who may have a hard time seeing their own weaknesses (see Shamrock, Ken and Hughes, Matt)...combine any slipping with overconfidence and you have the making of an upset.
Urijah Faber has won with his energy, speed, strength, and if that wasn't enough, he went in and beat Jens Pulver with his standup game, of all things. He had a BJJ black belt on his back for most of a round and looked like he was waiting for his dry cleaning, it worried him so little. Chance Farrar was clowned, and he's a tough-ass fighter. Norifumi Yammamoto for a while was seen as a dream fight, but he's been getting injured lately, who knows where Kid Dynamite is right now. The only fighter in the world who can beat Faber at this point at featherweight is Faber. There are some compelling fights from different weight classes for sure (Tyson Griffin rematch, Frankie Edgar, Imanari, Torres, etc), but as far as the 145 lb class is concerned, Faber is King. The only thing that occurs to me as a possible reason for him to stay totally focused would be the rumors of a WEC-UFC merger or whatever the story du jour happens to he still in the WEC because of the lure of feature stories on ESPN, PPV millions, and UFC glory? Because right now Faber in the WEC is lamer than cornrows on a white guy. Hopefully we get to see him step up to the highest levels in his prime, and not later. The sport is ready for a guy like Faber, and so is the mainstream public. The best answer is a 145lb division in the UFC.


Eric Kamander said...

Solid stuff.

What do you think of this method of merging the WEC with the UFC, is it totally retarded?

The next Ultimate Fighter should feature Middleweights and Light Heavyweights from WEC, perhaps supplemented with any available former IFL fighters. The coaches should be Chael Sonnen and Paulo Filho. I know Paulo might have some issues, but where else better to air his dirty laundry? That's good reality TV.

For the TUF Finale you could have the
- LHW and MW finalists,
- debuts for Faber and Torres
- debut of Condit against a current welterweight contender
- a Varner against Franca if he's available.
- and of course the Sonnen/Filho match (if it hasn't already happened, or maybe a rubber match).

garth2 said...

actually, that's a great idea. they could set that up as a huge could take up a chunk of a year. giving the WEC guys title shots...say, after a battle in the "WEC vs. UFC" special event...could make some blockbuster matchups. and imagine if they introduce the bantams and welters in the same show? could me magnificent.

garth2 said...

too bad filho turned out to be such a total assclown...your idea is great.

Eric Kamander said...

My new idea is that they should scrap TUF all together and replace it with MMArtist Rehab. Filho could be on the show with a host of friends.

I had some in mind, but they escape me at the moment. Who do you think would make prime candidates?

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