On Sunday, June 7th, former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (22-2) will be looking for redemption. It was just over seven months ago when Faber, considered one of the world’s best at 145 pounds, was dethroned at the hands of the current WEC champion Mike Thomas Brown (21-4). In their last meeting, Brown floored Faber two and a half minutes into the first round with a big right hand and followed up with a barrage of punches to his downed opponent before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
This time out Faber is planning a more mindful approach to the dangerous Brown. In an interview with UFC.com’s Frank Curreri, Faber explains, “I think the biggest thing is I have to be a little more careful. The last time I got caught for being careless. I sort of live by the sword and die by the sword. He’s one of the best fighters in the world so I need to be on my game and not make a mistake.” But don’t expect Faber to be too cautious. “I still want to be aggressive and let it all hang out.”
While Faber was a decorated Division I wrestler at UC Davis and often utilizes his wrestling experience in fights, he doesn’t rule out a stand-up battle with Brown. “I think standing and banging with the guy is pretty smart,” Faber said. “I do it every day in practice and he (Brown) is not the best standup guy that I’ve ever gone up against.” Faber’s last two victories were both against former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver. The only other loss in Faber’s professional career was to UFC veteran Tyson Griffin back in September of 2005. Between Faber’s losses to Griffin and Brown, he rattled off a string of thirteen straight victories and defended his WEC title five times.
In their first match, Brown and Faber squared off at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida less than twenty-five miles from where Brown trains in Coconut Creek, Florida. Their next fight will take place at ARCO arena in Faber’s hometown of Sacramento. “I’m gonna have a much bigger advantage as far as the crowd; I feed off the crowd,” Faber said. “I’m a performer and entertainer, and on a spiritual level, having all that energy behind you is uplifting. I definitely felt it last time in Sacramento.”
Faber is in the very unfamiliar position of coming back from a loss. This rematch with Brown will give him a chance to re-establish himself as the top fighter at 145 pounds. “I had the belt for a long time and I’m eager to get some redemption here.”