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Urijah Faber: Jose Aldo is a great champion, respectable guy, and #3 on pound-for-pound best MMA fighter list

By Zach Arnold | April 26, 2010

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A day after losing to Jose Aldo in a WEC Featherweight title match at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Urijah Faber sat down with CBS13 in Sacramento for a 12-minute interview to discuss his future in Mixed Martial Arts. We have transcribed that interview for everyone here.

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “Tell me what’s going with the leg right now.”

URIJAH FABER: “Well I just, basically was, a ton of repeated blows so it’s just a giant hematoma, you know, from like right here to my hip all the way down to my knee and so it’s about three times the size of my other leg, so you can’t really bend it or walk very well.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “Have you ever experienced something like that before?”

URIJAH FABER: “Not to this degree. I mean, of course training for this fight I trained a lot of defense, leg kicks but I was usually using, you know, the guys had shin pads and if you got caught with a heavy kick, you know, you let it ease up and you know not repeatedly hit it. So, this is the first time I’ve had it something this severe to where it really stopped me from having motion.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “So you went to the hospital after the fight and what did they say?”

URIJAH FABER: “They were checking for, what do you call it, some sort of composite, like a blood composite, which can be something that permanently damages your foot so there were just doing a lot of tests for that, making sure there’s no break in the leg and stuff like that and they just came to the conclusion that it’s a serious contusion and a deep you know bruise that’s going to be a couple of weeks here.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “Do you have to wait until the swelling goes down to check out if there’s anything else going on?”

URIJAH FABER: “No, they took a ton of photos of with the CT scan and stuff like that and all different angles to make sure that there was nothing permanent damage in there. It’s just, you know, it’s going to be a painful couple of days at least and we’ll see what happens. I mean, it should be, I can hobble pretty well around on crutches at this point but… yeah, it was frustrating.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “Any fear that this is like a long term, something like that will effect you long term?”

URIJAH FABER: “No, I don’t think so, not at all. I mean… I had more fear with my hands than that because there’s bone involved but just is this, if anything maybe make it less likely to happen next time.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “Anything else? You got hit a lot in the fourth round, your face is everything and good?”

URIJAH FABER: “Yeah, I was deflecting some of those and I was bringing up my head into them so there was less space… and I just, you know, I don’t want to quit in there, I wanted to you know finish it out. I was having trouble in the third round with this leg, it was really bothering me and you know, it was a lot of pain. When I did the after-the-fight interview, I felt like I was going to pass out and I don’t know what that was from. I’ve never really felt that way before I was having trouble like, you know, concentrating and when I was talking I really like I was going to pass out. I think probably because of the pain in the leg, maybe, it was extremely painful.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “Tell me about, you know, the one thing you know I admire about you but a lot of people admire you is the fact that you grit it out, man, I mean because that fourth round was tough and your leg was I think from the first round on and you know you look back to the Brown fight where you busted both of your hands and you still worked through it I think it was for five rounds. Last night you busted through it for five rounds. I mean, tell me about how that defines you and getting through it because you really have the grit to suck it up even when you know after three rounds your guy took you off, he almost carried you off.”

URIJAH FABER: “You know it basically comes down to that grit has won a lot of fights for me, you know I’ve had 27 fights now and I’m 23-4, so you know having that grit is something that’s important about you know in our sport, it’s something that’s important to be a champion and unfortunately when you’re facing some adversity against another guy who has the same kind of grit, you know, sometimes you don’t come out on top and Jose Aldo’s very tough. He’s a you know considered one of the best in the world, probably #3 pound-for-pound and you know he has my respect, so I felt I like was doing well in there. I was executing my game plan pretty well in the first round. I wanted to make sure that he respected my stand-up so that he knew that you know he just couldn’t dictate all the time on the feet and then try to push the takedowns in the second but midway through the second he already started to disable my mobility, took out my leg, and just really changed the whole fight from that point on, so… the guy’s very good, very technical, he had a good game plan, he slowed me down and that’s what won him the fight.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “One word you used a couple of minutes ago is frustration. Tell me about that.”

URIJAH FABER: “Yeah, it was very frustrating, you know I mean… you know, this is such a cool sport and there’s so many different ways to win and you know the little things count and being able to dictate the pace is one thing and he was the one who was able to do that by disabling my leg he was able to slow the fight down and to really make sure that it was a stand-up war for him so a lot of the takedowns that I worked on for that fight were explosive takedowns that involved trips and things like that but with the bum leg it was just, it wasn’t happening for me so… again, it was a rough fight. That’s what happens when you fight championship fights, you know, these are the best guys in the world. This isn’t like boxing where you got guys padding their records. I’m fighting the best guys all the time and that’s why I’m in this sport, so… It was a frustrating fight, but you know much respect to Aldo and I’m glad that I could finish it out.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “What’s the last few weeks been like? It has been a whirlwind doing all these interviews and hearing you on Jim Rome and you know of course locally doing all sorts of stuff and now you know all the support that you’ve gotten from people around Sacramento. Tell me what was like that and now where you are here in the almost 24 hours after the fight.”

URIJAH FABER: “You know, it was a whirlwind. This whole last three plus years has been a whirlwind for me and it’s been a ton of hard work, not just in the gym but you know through you know my businesses and through the PR side of things and just being focused and just I’ve kind of had the blinders on and just been in my own little world and I mean I really appreciate the support. It’s something that means a lot to me and I loved to have gotten that win for everyone but again we’re fighting, these are the best guys in the world. You know, go all the way around the world to Japan, Europe, you know Brazil, you know anywhere in the world and you’re looking at the top guys and I’m fighting them so to get out there and do that is a really cool experience for me and to be the guy who’s been on top and the guy who’s right there at the top is awesome and I’ll obviously look back and have fought some of the best guys and have a camaraderie with them so it’s neat, man, it’s a good life and I’m really appreciative.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “There’s so much support and so many people talking about this fight, building you up and what do you think is a word that kind of describes last night? Is it disappointment? Is it just another you know fight on your record because like you said you have fought so many great fighters?”

URIJAH FABER: “It was a disappointment, I mean that was the first time that anyone’s gone five rounds with Jose Aldo and you know been able to push the pace and I really was just hanging in there the last couple of rounds and he wasn’t you know coming after me for the kill I think he was a little fatigued probably, not used to having someone go you know the same pace that he can, so it was a little disheartening. I would have liked it to have been a little more exciting of a fight but like I said I can only do so much with my leg and I’m always looking to win but you know I didn’t get the win last night so it’s definitely disappointing, a little frustrating, but it is what it is man, I’m fighting and I’m fighting to the end and that’s the way it is, you know… I’m barely walking today but everything else is fine, so, I got to say that I’m pretty positive.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “You come into the arena, you get into the cage…. probably the loudest thing I’ve ever heard, you know, I mean it was unbelievable how much everybody’s behind you and tell me what that’s like just to have Sacramento. I was talking to Tyreke Evans last night and I talked to Mayor Johnson like, you three have to be the top three sports stars in Sacramento you know. But you know what’s that like? You get into the cage and everybody in this town that you grew up with is all behind you in the biggest night of your career.”

URIJAH FABER: “It meant a lot, you know, and it’s really cool you know it’s good to have a community and it’s good to have people that get behind you. I think it brings everyone together, win lose or draw you know having people together cheering and putting you know differences aside and getting behind one thing is an awesome spectacle and to see it last night was great, you know. Sacramento is a unique town, there’s a ton of great fans. California is I think the best place in the planet and I’m lucky to be a US citizen and you know it was all coming to a head right there and understanding why when I walked out in that arena and you know fighting is what I love to do but being out there and feeling the crowd was pretty awesome.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “As high as that moment was, talk to me real quick about how different it felt at the end of the fight. You know, it was quiet, people, you know all of your fans obviously disappointed but you know upset that you got injured and that it went the way that it did. You had to go out to leave and to have you know what happened to your leg and so on and so forth, in that case, what was the feeling on the other end?”

URIJAH FABER: “Well, truly the feeling was exhaustion. I felt like I said when I doing my you know talking to the microphone at the end of the fight, I really felt like I was going to pass out. I’ve never felt like that before and I think it had something to do with the pain in the leg, I’m not real sure, but I was completely exhausted and I could feel that you know the fans are disappointed, you know, and probably just sad in general, so that was unfortunate but it was a great night of fights. Jose Aldo is a very great champion, he’s a respectable guy, you know not only in his skill level but the way he presents himself, you know, it’s great to have a guy like that as our champion instead of some of these meatheads that are out there so…”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “I saw a few of those guys last night.”

URIJAH FABER: “On a bright note, you know, at least the title is with someone that you know we can all cheer for and you know I’ll be back from the road to get my stuff straight and get back out there.”

ANDREW LURIA (CBS13.COM): “What’s next for you. You’re 30, how long can you go? How long do you plan to go? Is a championship a couple of fights away again or what’s next for you? I know you got a few months you’re obviously to try to get your leg back.”

URIJAH FABER: “You know, I haven’t really thought about it. I mean I’ve said it time and time again, I’m a terrible planner. I just kind of follow my heart so at this time I feel like laying down and resting my leg but you know I’ve got fights in me still for sure. I can go down to 135 pounds (bantamweight), I can work my way back up to a title. There’s a lot of exciting fights out there for me but for right now I’m just going to enjoy my friends and my family and heal up and then go from there. It’s Summertime so I love Summertime especially in Sacramento, probably take some trips and cruise around a little bit and enjoy life.”

Topics: Media, MMA, WEC, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “Urijah Faber: Jose Aldo is a great champion, respectable guy, and #3 on pound-for-pound best MMA fighter list”

  1. The Gaijin says:

    I still can’t believe we’re seeing people writing eulogies for Faber already…talk about overblown.

  2. IceMuncher says:

    It’s a parallel to Rich Franklin’s career. He’s still a top fighter, but what do you do with him now? You have to try to give him interesting matches that won’t eliminate future title contenders.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      He drops down to Bantamweight…. Which fits his natural size better anyways… And makes a run for the title. A run that I think if done properly will bring in solid ratings and end with him winning the belt.

      People are funny talking about him retiring. About as bad as people wanting to see Aldo move up to 155 after only going 2-0 in title fights.

  3. edub says:

    Let him go up to 155 and fight Ben Henderson for the title ala Randy Couture.

  4. Lendo says:

    With all due respect, why would he go up a weightclas and fight the champ when he can\’t beat the top fighters in his own weight class?

    I say that as huge Faber fan…just thinking logically.

    Put a Faber/Aldo rematch on a good card and you can guarantee another solid PPV event.

    Like I said, I\’m a big Faber fan. I\’ve met him, seen him train, seen him fight. I think he needs to change his gameplan. I think he needs to train with a successful fighter, probably a UFC fighter. Bring Master Thong and the rest of the camp, of course, because they\’ve brought him this far. But I think he needs a a whole new strategy.


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