One person that will be watching the featherweight battle between former champion Urijah Faber and Raphael Assuncao much more intently will be reigning title holder Jose Aldo as it was revealed on Tuesday’s WEC 46 pre-fight conference call that the winner of that scrap will likely be Aldo’s first title defense.
“We’ve definitely had that discussion,” said WEC general manager Reed Harris. “I think that’s something that we’ll look forward to doing. Depending upon who wins this fight, I think we’ll make that fight (Faber/Assuncao winner challenging Aldo).”
If you ask Faber, the former 145-pound king and current WEC poster boy, whoever leaves the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California with their arm raised should get first dibs at Aldo’s freshly-minted belt.
“It’s up to the guys at the WEC, but I’d assume, yeah, this is the one to get us in there for the belt,” said Faber.
Assuncao has been perfect through his last six contests and owns an impressive 14-1 professional record overall. Although they may be foes on January 10th, this submission specialist agrees wholeheartedly with the former champion.
“I fought my way through. Urijah’s got his credentials. I think that solidifies the number one spot for the next challenge for the belt,” added Assuncao.
In case you forgot, Faber owned the division not too long ago. He stakes claim to a dominating 22-3 record, however has lost two of his last three – both in title fights to former champion Mike Brown. Although another shot at the strap is on the line “The California Kid” isn’t about to look past the task at hand.
“I don’t want to get too excited about fighting Aldo yet, I’ve got another hard-headed Brazilian to try and throw around,” Faber stated. “We’ll see how that goes. I’m expecting a great performance and hopefully have the belt midway through 2010.”