Pros Pick: Brown vs. Faber II

By Mike Sloan Jun 4, 2009
It’s the best match that can be made right now at 145 pounds. Mike Thomas Brown, the defending WEC featherweight champion, is looking to prove to the world that his spectacular first-round knockout of Urijah Faber back in November was no fluke.

Of course, his first fight after taking Faber’s title proved, to a degree, that it wasn’t. He flattened perennial tough guy Leonard Garcia in less than two minutes.

But to beat Faber again is a different accomplishment. Faber was on a 13-fight winning streak when he threw a careless elbow that allowed Brown to finish him. Would Brown have won even if Faber hadn’t become reckless? Will Faber get revenge in the rematch Sunday at WEC 41?

Sherdog.com chatted with dozens of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their thoughts on the bout:

Joe Warren: I'm biased. I'm always biased with friends. I think Urijah wins this fight hands down. His striking is very, very good. I think they're really underestimating him.

Scott Bieri: Urijah may have run into a wall in Mike Brown. After the last fight, I suspect the former champ might fight more conservatively, which doesn’t help his cause. Brown defends.

Kit Cope: Mike Brown is simply too much dude for Urijah. I see the fight going the distance this time with Brown as the aggressor, edging out rounds or ending (it) late in the fight after Faber becomes a little frustrated and starts making mistakes.

Erik Paulson: I think this will be another great fight. I think that Urijah has prepared hard to gain his belt back and won’t make any mistakes this time.

Pete Sell: I think Faber will win by submission. Getting caught the first fight will make Faber be more cautious the second time around. Sometimes a loss is a good thing for a fighter.

Micah Miller: Brown by man strength.

Luigi Fioravanti: Mike Brown by KO.

Jeff Monson: Brown by easy decision or stoppage.

Guy Mezger: Faber-Brown is a good one, but I think Brown wins.

Jaime Fletcher: I’ve been waiting for this fight since Brown took the title. I think a motivated Faber gets the belt back. Brown is tough, but I think the “California Kid” gets this one by submission or TKO in the later rounds.

Kevin Burns: I don’t see Urijah losing or taking any chances. I think he’ll come in focused and thirsty for blood. I look for a dominating performance out of him.

Stephen Martinez/Sherdog.com

According to the pros,
MTB has the slight edge.
Charlie Valencia: Faber all the way, if he sticks to the basics and doesn’t do anything too crazy.

Cole Miller: Mike Brown is going to finish this fight in the first round by knockout. Same fight as the first one, I think.

Yves Edwards: Mike Brown by brutal (stoppage) in round two at the latest.

Scott Epstein: Mike Brown and Urijah Faber are both beasts and are huge inspirations to me. These guys are the 145-pound division. This can be one of the best fights of the night, if not year, and I hope it is. Brown seems to be too strong in all aspects (I hear his right hand weighs 30 pounds) for Faber, and after their last fight I’m not sure if Faber can convince himself otherwise. If I have to see a fight go the distance, this is the one. I’m rooting for both, but I would bet on Brown

Stav Economou: Urijah Faber on points.

Tom Gavrilos: This is a dream fight. Faber is not used to being physically weaker than someone, and this is going to be one of those rare situations where he is. Last time he made a costly mistake, so I don’t think we got to see enough. I trust Urijah's chin (see the Pulver fights) and look to see his insane speed and stamina get him through the fight. Going to have to go with Faber. Look for that quick guillotine he used on Jeff Curran in the later rounds.

Michael Guymon: Gotta go with the “California Kid” on this rematch. It’s gonna be a grinding fight going all five rounds. Cardio will be the edge with Faber getting a hard fought victory.

Stephane Vigneault: I think Mike Brown is gonna win again. (He) is a very mature fighter. I think he is better than Faber at all aspects of the fight. I think Mike Brown by unanimous decision

Gabe Ruediger: I’m going with Mike Brown. Great matchup and both guys are phenomenal, but there can be only one. Mike has shown he has the power and ability to finish it with one shot. Urijah hasn’t shown that. Both are great grapplers, but the deciding factor is power. I think this one will be a decision win for Brown. Still a great matchup and with guys like that, either could win.

Brad Pickett: I think my main man Mike will do it again, as he is a monster. (He’s been) killing everyone in the gym, and believe me, I know. Mike for years has been under the radar, and only his training partners and coaches knew what an unstoppable force he is. But now the world and all MMA fans are starting to find out how good he is, and it couldn’t be more deserving.

Ben Saunders: Brownie all the way! He can win by KO, TKO and submission. This time I feel it might be by submission, ala flying gogoplata! (laughs) But seriously, Mike Brown is very dangerous with many ways to end this fight. I believe he will be holding onto that belt for quite some time. ATT baby!

Patrick Cote: Faber by TKO round three.

Robin Black: Mike Brown is a beast. Big, strong, skilled everywhere. He matches up so well against Faber because the only way to beat someone as unorthodox and creative as Faber is with clean fundamentals. Brown has the cleanest fundamentals there are. I love Faber, but if I was a betting man, I'd put money on Brown finishing him.

Ryan White: I'm going to go with Brown on this one. I think he will out-wrestle Faber, then take him down and win in the second with some strong ground-and-pound.

Additional picks made in Dana White’s video blog:

Wanderlei Silva: Faber. The last time, it was a good shot, but … it happened. But Faber is my friend. I’ve talked with him. He’s a nice guy.

Quinton Jackson: I think Urijah. That’s my boy. I think he got it. ... I think he’s going to turn around and knock (Brown) out this time.

Rashad Evans: That’s a tough one to call. But I think Faber will get him this time. Decision. I think he realized that last time he was a little impatient, and he went back and did his homework.

Gray Maynard: I think if Urijah does some crazy (stuff), it’s not going to be good. Because man, Brown is powerful. Technically, (Brown) is just good. … I’m going to have to say Brown, just from the way he’s been running through people. I think if he does win, it’s going to be a KO or TKO. If he doesn’t win, then it’s going to be a decision.

Tyson Griffin: I like Mike Brown just because he’s a sound fighter, to be honest. Obviously I’m not a big fan of Urijah’s for obvious reasons. But outside of that … he’s a reckless fighter who hasn’t learned to not be reckless until he needs to be. I think that Mike Brown being the sound fighter that he’s been for years, he’s going to be consistently sound and not make a mistake where Urijah will make a mistake. … I think stylistically, Mike Brown is a terrible matchup for him. I see a finish. It could go to a decision -- Urijah could fight smart -- but again, I think Brown’s a bigger, smarter fighter, got a better camp around him, bigger guys to work with.

Pros who picked Brown: 17
Pros who picked Faber: 13
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