Urijah Faber went the distance with bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 132 last weekend but failed to take the belt from him. They had a thrilling five-round war which excited fans and media pundits alike, following which Faber did some partying in Las Vegas before heading off on vacation.
Currently he is relaxing on a boat drifting round a Californian lake, but Fighters Only was able to get him on the phone for a quick chat about the fight, the future and the fun in Vegas.
FO: So first of all, that was a great fight and probably a contender for Fight of the Year at this year’s World MMA Awards. You went the full five rounds and you were hitting each other non-stop; how are you physically?
I feel pretty good, pretty healthy. Right after the fight, that night and the next day, I was sore a bit. My leg was sore and my ribs were sore a little bit. And my collarbone, where he hit me with a jumping knee. That bruised me a bit but it went away in like a day.
My hand hurts a bit, I threw some big rights, but its definitely not broken. No complaints, I feel pretty good altogether. I’ve not even got any bruises on my face.
FO: Four years ago you beat Cruz with relative ease but he said before this latest fight he was a changed combatant and it seemed so. Would you agree?
Yeah, he’s good. He is definitely better than the first time we fought. Its been years and his body looks completely different even. Over the four years [he’s changed and] I guess he’s been training more regularly and whatnot.
FO: Now you’ve had a few days distance between you and the fight, what are your thoughts on it?
Bottom line, I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I think I need to change a couple of things with the gameplan to get the W if it goes to decision. I never like to plan to go to a decision but I think I could be more accomplished in little things that would help me if it goes to a decision.
That’s a mindset thing; I go in there looking for the finish and that’s a different mindset but you’ve got to be aware of points as well. Especially with judges these days - most have never fought or even wrestled, grappled or anything. Its hard to know what’s going on in their heads.
FO: Was it the correct decision, or should it have gone your way?
Well… I know for sure that one of the judges, he scored it 50-45, is smoking something. But, its hard to say really because the fight was so close. I had knockdowns and I was able to nullify all of his takedowns - I think the longest I stayed on the bottom was about 15 seconds. In a wrestling match they wouldn’t even have been scored as takedowns.
I could have won the fight but its not like I got screwed the way some of these fighters have recently. There’s been a lot of judgements way worse than mine.
FO: What does the future hold now?
I just want to fight the top guys. I think me getting another title shot is going to happen if I am one of the guys at the top of the weight class. Whatever it takes for me to prove that I am at the top of the weight class.
If they want to give me a rematch right away I am down with that, it was a close fight. I think I learned a lot from it. I don’t have any time to feel sorry for myself or make excuses and complaints. I just want to keep fighting and winning and having a good time.
FO: Are there enough fighters at 135 pounds to keep you and your team mate/protégé Joseph Benavidez apart?
I think so. There’s a lot of fighters at 135, there’s a ton. I don’t think they need to make us fight.
FO: What have you been doing since Saturday night?
I went out in Vegas two nights and had a good time - but I’ve got to get my timing on man, I am way off. I am going to bed at six, seven in the morning and getting up early. I am like I don’t need any sleep! (laughs) I enjoyed it. I didn’t get the belt but I did a really good job and I am on vacation right now.
FO: Seeing as you’re on vacation we won’t keep you any longer; any parting message?
I want to thank everyone that supports me. I feel like I have a huge fan base that are emotionally invested in watching me fight. I always hate to disappoint but I’ll be back stronger than ever.
FO: And any Twitter/sponsor/website shouts?
Follow me on Twitter, @urijahfaber and also check out UrijahFaber.com. Thanks to Form Athletics, we got a new website up, Amp Energy, K-Swiss. Oh and, the new UFC video game ‘UFC Personal Trainer’ - check it out, its an awesome way to get in shape.
Urijah Faber spoke with Gary Alexander