Sunday night, Mike Brown and Urijah Faber slugged it out in a rematch for the WEC featherweight title. Unfortunately for Faber, he lost a critical weapon early in the fight when he broke his right hand and he eventually lost a five round decision.
By most accounts, Faber won the first round over Brown by using his speed to avoid Brown’s strikes and landing some solid punches and kicks with his unorthodox striking. Faber dropped Brown to one knee with a big right hand to the forehead with one minute left in the first round but Brown bounced back quickly and got top position on the ground after Faber slipped throwing a roundhouse kick. Faber would not throw another punch with his right hand for the rest of the fight.
On a video posted on Faber’s website, he explained “Man I couldn’t grapple. I couldn’t defend anything with my right hand. I was just trying to get creative in there. Luckily, I’m a creative guy or otherwise it could’ve been uglier than it was. But I had fun nonetheless. There was some adversity in there but you know it was a good fight.”
For the final four rounds of the fight, Faber tried to survive by throwing left jabs and hooks, elbows, knees and kicks. Faber appeared to have a tight modified guillotine choke on Brown with ninety seconds left in the fight but wasn’t able to finish the move because of his injured right hand. He also dislocated his left hand later in the fight but was able to continue throwing punches with it for most of the fight.
Without the threat of Faber’s powerful right hand, Brown was able to stalk Faber and control the rest of the fight. He took Faber down numerous times and was able to get inside and land enough punches to take the unanimous decision. While Brown fought an intelligent, well-executed fight, it was obvious that Faber’s broken hand drastically affected how the fight ultimately played out. “I didn’t have many options in there and I you know had to do some crazy stuff. Lot of elbows. Lot of knees.”
Faber’s broken hand required surgery and no timetable for his return has been determined. “I’d loved to have been at 100% the whole fight but you know I lost a close one.”