Urijah Faber: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Despite uneven results on basic cable, the WEC was responsible for one undisputed draw in Urijah Faber, a 145-pound champion whose presence on a card could sometimes double ratings averages. He remains the only sub-155 athlete with major mainstream endorsement deals and -- for better or worse -- a spot next to fictional schlub Kenny Powers.
Because that 145-pound class seems to have outgrown him (Faber lost to both Jose Aldo and Mike Thomas Brown) reinvention is in order. The dry run is on Thursday, when he meets Takeya Mizugaki in Faber’s 135-pound debut. Mizugaki is notoriously durable -- so much so that he could stop Faber’s third act before it event starts.
What It Means: For Faber, a chance to breathe new life into his career at a time when it could be the most lucrative; for Mizugaki, a chance to net a big win over a big name.
Wild Card: Faber was pretty lean at 145. Is losing muscle mass going to rob him of the power he’s used to having?
Who Wins: Mizugaki: tough. Faber: more to lose. They’ll tumble around the cage, but Faber should get the better of it. Faber by decision.