Long-time WEC poster boy Urijah “The California Kid” Faber recently appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show where he expressed his understandable excitement at the news of the UFC-WEC merger. Faber sees the union as a huge benefit to the WEC fighters as well as the UFC promotion, which will enjoy the excitement brought by the WEC’s lighter weight competitors.
“There’s no doubt that everybody knows that the UFC is the top brand,” Faber said. “I think people who know MMA know that the WEC has the most exciting fighters. I think the combination is going to be great.”
“The California Kid” has been the WEC’s most recognizable fighter for some time and is looking forward to the added exposure that comes with fighting on UFC cards, not to mention the heftier bonuses. In addition to that, Faber is eagerly anticipating the day when the casual MMA fan acknowledges the merit carried by the WEC’s fighters now that they are part of the sport’s most recognizable brand.
“Some people either think that we are the UFC or think that I fight in the UFC or they ask, ‘When you going to go to the big show?’ For me, I’ve known for a long time that we’re the top fighters in the world at our weights, but not everyone else understands that,” he said. “We don’t have to explain it anymore. That’s great. Business-wise, you look at the bonuses, you’re going from $10,000 to $65,000. Pay-per-view averages and everything else is up, and viewership’s up.”
Making his bantamweight debut on what will be one of the final WEC shows against Takeya Mizugaki, Faber told Sherdog that he believes the qualities he possesses that have endeared him to WEC fans will translate to a UFC audience. That coupled with the fact that he expressed a resounding comfort at his new, lower weight has Faber believing that his best days are to come under the UFC banner.
“The bottom line is, I feel like I resonate with fans,” said Faber. “You couple that with the UFC fan base, it’s going to be a great thing. I’m looking forward to having my brightest days in the future. I feel great at this new weight. My body feels incredible, and I’m still motivated to fight. These next couple of years are going to be awesome.”
Faber will take on Mizugaki at WEC 52 this November 11th at The Pearl at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will mark Faber’s debut in the 135-pound weight class; he has spent most of his career as a featherweight.