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Video & transcript of HDNet interview with Urijah Faber in Sacramento

By Zach Arnold | November 9, 2010

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RON KRUCK: “Well, Urijah, you’re up next at WEC 52 and you’re dropping to Bantamweight. Tell us about that decision. Why did you decide to do that?”

URIJAH FABER: “It’s something that I wanted to do for a long time. Actually when I started in this sport, I wanted to be a 135-pounder but uh… you know when I started in this sport seven years ago and it wasn’t legal in California, the only fights that were happening were on Indian Casinos, pretty much had to do whatever the promoters said. Wasn’t on TV, guys weren’t getting paid much, so I was up to 155 fighting my first two fights and then I made a stand, I brought in some fans and I told the promoter, hey, I want to least at 145s and I became a world champion there. I was a world champion for a number of years in different organizations, you know, I think three different organizations I was the world champ and… I was 145 pounds, so you don’t really fix it when it’s not broken and it was something that I wanted to do to be a champion at multiple weights because I know that I can go down and compete and just has been the opportunity to do it, you know, coming off of a hard loss like that, I wanted to get the win and drop down and accomplish it there but at this point I want to go back down and keep on working on my weaknesses and come back and be a champion again.”

RON KRUCK: “What’s been the biggest challenge of dropping down a weight class, if anything?”

URIJAH FABER: “Just getting my weight down. I mean, the last seven years has been… I’ve been trying to gain weight, you know, and it’s been a goal on my wall, you know, put on weight, put on weight, and I’ve been doing things pro-actively to make that happen so I can get up to 158 pounds, you know, pretty easily and when you’re talking about 35s and I’m lean, that’s a long ways to go. But my body’s reacting really well to the weight cut, I’m back down to about 151, 152 after eating dinner and, you know, 147, 148 after practices and I’ve already done one test run down to 140 and I felt great. I was still four pounds off but I know I can make it, so I’m excited about the new weight. It’s going to be a great thing for my career and I’m already one of the bigger guys in the division for the first time and it’s going to be fun.”

RON KRUCK: “Let’s talk about your opponent quickly. Taking on Mizugaki, a very dangerous fighter. What makes him such a difficult opponent?”

URIJAH FABER: “Um… the most difficult part about Mizugaki is that the fact that he’s, you know, going to come forward and not quit. You see him go against all these tough guys and he knows what he likes to do. He loves to fight, he loves to come straight forward. He is good at defending take-downs, he’s got a couple of good take-downs himself, mostly upper body stuff but he’s never really been in some serious danger on the ground, occasionally getting into a little bit of trouble but he’s a well-rounded fighter and he’s also big for the weight class, so the one thing that I’m going to be different and better at is being creative in thinking outside the box. Now, you know, especially with fighting guys that are my same size… you know, he’s going to have to do a lot to finish me and I just don’t think it’s going to happen and I think I’ve got a lot of ways to finish him.”

RON KRUCK: “The one thing, Urijah, that’s consistent with Team Alpha Male is your relationship with these guys. There are some guys that you’ve known pretty much your life.”

URIJAH FABER: “Yeah, you know, you have a guy like Danny Castillo. He and I were wrestling each other back in the day, you know, I mean 9th graders and on some of the same all-star teams for wrestling and stuff like that. Chad Mendes and TJ Dillashaw are guys that I recruited when I was a coach at UC Davis and we were making phone calls to TJ’s house and him kind of blowing me off and Chad Mendes, he came on our recruiting trip and ended up going to Cal Poly, we had a relationship over the Summers working wrestling camps so… you know, we have that aspect of the team. We also have guys that have sought us out and come from all over the U.S. I mean we got Kyacey Uscola who’s from Idaho, we’ve got Joseph Benavidez from New Mexico and Justin Buchholz from Alaska, you know we have guys that are coming from all over to be a part of, you know, this energy and the team that we’re building.”

RON KRUCK: “I think one of the unique things you’ve been doing to help out some of the younger guys is what you guys refer to as ‘The Block.’ Tell me a little bit about that.”

URIJAH FABER: “The Block is just something that’s kind of taken its own form and what really happened was I graduated college, wasn’t making much money at a time where anybody could buy a house and I, uh… got a loan on a decent little house and I moved a bunch of my buddies in to make ends meet and it’s been kind of a safe haven for that go-between area where guys are graduating college or kind of at the crossroads of figuring out what they’re going to do. I’ve had so many come in and lived on our block and some stay, some become fighters, some become businessmen, whatever, but you know on any given time we have, you know, 12 to 17 guys living on The Block and most of them are related to MMA and we all help each other out. We do, you know, sessions where, you know, we’re working on the mental side of things also with group, you know, exercises on bettering yourself and we have fun parties and there’s a lot of interesting stuff that goes on, so… you know, guys like Chad Mendes and TJ Dillashaw have come in, lived on The Block, moved off The Block, and new guys come in. We got some 20-year old guys from Alaska and guys are just graduating college that are on and then you’ve got myself who’s getting up there a little bit in age and it’s an interesting mix and it’s fun.”

RON KRUCK: “So, basically, on The Block, these guys live together, they come here and train together, they party together. This is really like a family, isn’t it?”

URIJAH FABER: “Yeah, it’s a big extended family and, um… you know, there’s plenty of times where guys are giving each other crap but more often than not…”

RON KRUCK: “Like a family.”

URIJAH FABER: “Yeah, we’re, you know, keeping each other straight. if there’s an issue, I’m not a dictator but I’ll throw out my opinion on what’s the best thing for, you know, some of these younger guys and, you know, bum rides from each other and keep each other accountable. It’s easy to stay in this life that’s not a real easy lifestyle when you have a lot of people that are doing the same things, so, um, you know, butting heads and getting punched in the face and working your butt off every day. You know, if you’re doing that all by yourself, that’s pretty rough. But when you have a group of guys that have a camaraderie with it, it’s a lot better.”

RON KRUCK: “Castillo described Team Alpha Male as the best looking fight team out there and if you go to your web site, I mean, seriously, Urijah, you look at the pictures down there… you guys look like a bunch of surfers or really GQ models. Do you guys get any [expletive] about that?”

URIJAH FABER: “Well, I don’t know about that, but yeah I don’t know that how that worked out, I guess just kinda, you know, I think partially because we are in great shape all the time and we’re in California where the weather’s beautiful and, you know, like people we’re attracted to you know a similar energy and stuff so maybe that’s, uh… more of a personality thing than looks. I don’t know, I mean… you ever watch the cheer-leading team and you look and like, look at all those hot chicks, and then you try to find the hot one and you’re like, oh, wait, never mind. Maybe it’s a little bit like that.”

RON KRUCK: “That’s a good point. You don’t see happen this too much but coming up at WEC 52, yourself, Chad, and Joseph all on the same card. How cool is that to have that type of support from your fellow teammates?”

URIJAH FABER: “It’s great. You know, we all feed off each other. We’ll be able to bring a whole host of trainers. Like I said, we have a lot of different trainers in our gym and teammates that sit in each other’s corners and having that camaraderie and unity is just great. It feels like we’re going to war and you know you got your brothers on the side of you and nothing really like that feeling, so, I mean I attribute that to I mean just like Danny Castillo’s last fight, he stepped in on a couple of week’s notice and because of the lifestyle that we live, we stay in shape, we stay ready and when you stay ready you don’t have to get ready and so that’s probably one of the differences here in our gym and it’s part of being a team and not being selfish, you know when you’re not up to that you’re helping other guys out.”

Topics: MMA, Media, WEC, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Video & transcript of HDNet interview with Urijah Faber in Sacramento”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Urijah Faber has to know that if he beats Mizugaki that he will be fighting for the UFC Bantamweight Title.

    Which makes this a pretty important fight for him.

    • edub says:

      You think they’d give him a title shot over doing a super fight with Torres?

      It think that’s what they’re building towards. Title or not.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        I think it’s worth taking the chance and build towards that fight. It’s not a huge risk because many people have no clue who these guys.

        But Torres is fighting on the Silva/Belfort huge card. If they have Faber/Cruz 2 on a big card as well…. by the time they put on Faber/Torres (if it works out like that)…. It will do much bigger numbers.

        • edub says:

          I guess that’s the idesl scenario. The title bout would probably sell the fight a lot better….

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