One of the biggest winners in yesterday’s merger between the UFC and WEC had to have been former featherweight king Urijah Faber. Although “The California Kid” has long been the face of World Extreme Cagefighting, he can’t wait to showcase his skills on the world’s biggest stage.
While Faber doesn’t currently don any gold around his waist, his recent move down to the 135-pound division has him chomping at the bit to get a strap back. The current UFC bantamweight champion is Dominick Cruz, who Faber happened to beat in a 145-pound contest over three years ago.
Fighters coming over to the UFC will have to adjust not only to the increased exposure, but also little things like fighting in an Octagon that’s larger than what WEC fighters used to call home.
Faber professes it won’t be an issue for him, but it’s something he believes will have an adverse affect on those who don’t like to press the action. Although he’s not one to normally talk trash, a recent viewing of his protege’s WEC 50 title loss to Cruz reminded him of what could be in store if he earns a shot at the crown for himself.
“[The] only reason that would even be a factor is if you have one guy that’s running the whole time, like Dominick Cruz does,” Faber said while appearing on TapouT Radio. “He might like the bigger cage better so he can have more space to dance around and pitter-patter with his punches. Most the guys are coming in there and getting right down to business and meeting in the middle.
“I just got done talking to Joseph Benavidez about his [fight]. I was watching the old video, so I was just reminded about how that fight went down.”
Now that he’s officially employed by the UFC, Faber no longer carries the burden of having to grow a promotion on his 135/145/155 pound shoulders and can now focus solely on fighting.
Another major benefit of movin’ on up to the UFC? The heftier paydays – not only for superstars like Faber, but every WEC fighter that gets promoted to the big leagues as well.
“There’s bigger rewards and more exposure and I think it’s going to be great for everybody,” an excited Faber claimed.
First thing’s first, though. Faber has a fight at WEC 52 against Takeya Mizugaki in what will be the promotion’s second-to-last event before the merger. The November 11th show takes places inside The Pearl inside The Palms Las Vegas, Nevada.
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