Former WEC featherweight champion and current UFC bantamweight title challenger, Urijah Faber is not making excuses despite losing to Renan Barao for the interim bantamweight title at UFC 149.
Faber fought the entire 25 minutes, despite having a broken rib and hearing the crowd boo. However, he could not build up enough steam to sway the judges scorecards.
Following the fight, at the post-fight press conference, Urijah was asked “What’s next?” Only time will tell, but “The California Kid” does not feel he is too far out of the mix. Faber was recently on The MMA Hour and spoke about how he feels that he is still at the top of the division.
“I’m right there with the top guys. Renan Barao is on a 30-fight win streak. I don’t feel like I was beat up in the fight, I feel like I just lost. I didn’t do enough to win. I landed some good punches, I was elusive in the fight. I just fought Dominick Cruz, I thought won that fight, I knocked him down three times, didn’t really take too much damage there also. It’s not like I’m getting severely outclassed here by any of these guys. I’m just a smidgen off and I’ve got some things to work on. The bottom line is, in the last nine years, I’ve been fighting guys at the top five of the weight class, at whatever the given time is. I don’t think that needs to change. Would I like get some ‘fight of the night’ bonuses? Could I get some bonuses on big fights against [lower ranked guys]? Sure, some entry level guys. But I’m right there at the top, man. I’m right there in the running. If you can line up some guys that are going to beat me up and put me out the running, then let’s do that. But until then, I’m just going to keep training and stay positive.”
He didn’t make any excuses for the injured rib or the outcome of the fight either.
“I mean, I guess. The thing is that I knew exactly when I hurt it. I couldn’t remember after the fight when it was. I just remembered I caught a knee and I was like, ‘Alright, I broke my rib.’ Then I watched the fight and it was two and a half minutes into the first round and they showed a replay of the knee and he hit me like in the back. I decided not to say anything in the corner because I wanted to hear what the coaches had to say. I don’t know how much it really affected me, I never, I mean I don’t know how many other people fought with broken ribs and stuff like that.”
Whether Urijah is still a title contender is yet to be seen, but “The California Kid” is willing to climb that ladder.