It took less than three days for Urijah Faber to put an end to celebrating his submission victory over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157. He now set his sights on his next opponent Scott Jorgensen. The two will collide at the main event for The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on April 13th. The two WEC alums and current top ten 135’ers will serve as the replacement for the previous main event–the flyweight title fight between Demetrius Johnson and John Moraga, now scrapped due to Johnson suffering a labrum tear.
Faber was a guest on Darce Side Radio recently, and explained how the deal came together before it was officially announced in the early hours of this past Tuesday morning.
“I talked to my managers at MMA Inc., Jeff Myer and Mike Roberts,” Faber said. “Mike said ‘Hey look, we’ve been avoiding this fight the last couple of years. It’s the third time it’s come up between you and Scotty and they want it to have you do it possibly in May or July,’ and I was like yeah I’d rather not. I talked to Scotty and whatever…and that was at the beginning of the day.
Faber explained it wasn’t an easy choice to agree to fight a friend, but since he spoke to Scotty and he was doing a favor since the Johnson/Moraga fight was scrapped, the timing was right to make it happen.
“It was like shoot man it’s like rip the band-aid off vs. peeling it off. Get this out of the way. We don’t have to think about it too much. Go in there as Scotty Jorgensen’s tattoo says ‘No Mind.’ Go in there beat the crap out of each other and move on.”
Agreeing to the fight doesn’t mean that the California Kid won’t be a little uncomfortable.
“It’s kind of a weird fight for me,” admitted Faber. “It’s probably the first time that I fought somebody that is actually a very close friend.”
“Scotty and I are really good friends,” Faber said. “When I first started in this sport he was at Boise State, and I was coaching at UC Davis. I kind of recruited him into this sport. He probably wouldn’t be in this sport if it weren’t for me telling him he should give it a shot.”
Faber and Jorgensen are both coming off first round finishes in their last fight respectively, and each own identical 3-2 records inside the octagon, with three FOTN and 2 SOTN bonuses between them. Those numbers indicate this fight could turn out to be an absolute classic. Faber is expecting a fierce battle.
“It’s a main event, and it’s on a big card and it’s a five round fight,” Faber said. I’m prepared for a war man. He’s a tough dude: known for his conditioning, he’s got submissions and he’s got knockouts. It’s gonna be a great matchup.”
The bout has been agreed to but when the octagon door closes, and he’s staring across at his friend, will he be affected?
“I gotta say no, but you never really know,” admitted Faber. “I guess the best thing is we’re doing something that we love. We started out as competitors. I actually had a bunch of matches against one of his best friends and trainers Jesse Brock in college. I was at UC Davis, he was at Boise State. There was a really good chance we would’ve competed against each other then, and we weren’t best friends there, best buddies at that time. We’ve always had a competitive relationship. I’m not going to let it deter me from anything I want to do.