UFC 71 was supposed to be Chuck Liddell’s official mainstream coming out party. Instead, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson decided to crash the festivities with a crushing right hook to steal his light heavyweight title.
You might be wondering why I brought up some UFC history when talking about Urijah Faber’s chance at redemption at WEC 48 this Saturday night. It’s simple, Faber had his party crashed by the hard-nosed Mike Brown at WEC 36 when a risky spinning elbow missed and allowed Brown to drop Faber and take his featherweight crown in the process.
The difference between Liddell and “The California Kid” is that Faber has the chance to recapture the moment that eluded him over 17 months ago.
Standing in his way is the most dangerous featherweight in the world in Jose Aldo, who also happens to hold the belt that Faber has been so eager to win back.
With WEC 48 marking the organization’s first ever pay-per-view event, in his hometown of Sacramento no less, there’s a lot of pressure on the 145-pounder’s shoulders. Despite the lofty expectations, Faber is keeping his focus set squarely on one thing.
“I’m looking forward to a battle and looking forward to getting that strap back for California,” Faber told 5thRound.com in an exclusive interview. “I’m excited. Fights are always about the matchups and I couldn’t ask for a more exciting matchup than with Jose Aldo.”
Although Faber is unquestionably the promotion’s biggest superstar, Aldo is a 3-to-1 favorite to retain his crown this weekend. Despite having his hands full against Aldo, the shaggy-haired Californian is anxious to showcase his skills in front of the sold-out Arco Arena crowd.
“I know I’m going to perform. I would fight the same if it was in my backyard as I would if I was in the cage,” the former champ explained. “It’s pride involved and it’s something that’s a battle within myself.
“But the bottom line is it’s a fight and it’s a fight to the end. There’s nothing more entertaining than that!”
If Faber can find a way to get the belt put back around his waist on the WEC’s biggest stage, he’ll be able to erase the nightmare that took place at WEC 36 and rewrite history.