Urijah Faber: What's Next for the California Kid?

Scott SpradlinContributor IJanuary 21, 2009

Urijah Faber: What’s Next?

Urijah Faber squares off against Jens Pulver on Jan. 25. When the California Kid first met Little Evil in 2008, it was considered a dream match, and the biggest match of Faber’s career.

Jens Pulver was the pint-sized pit bull with sledgehammers in his hands. Faber, conversely, was the prodigal son of World Extreme Cagefighting, and had not suffered a loss in 13 matches.

It was a clash of featherweight titans at WEC 34, in June, 2008. Expectations were high. When the final bell rang, after five rounds, Urijah retained the championship belt after a unanimous decision.

When the rivals meet again on Jan. 25, one thing will have changed. The WEC Featherweight Championship will no longer be adorning the waist of Faber. His three-and-a-half-year winning streak ended when Mike Brown TKO’d him in the first round of their match at WEC 36.

So what’s next for Urijah Faber? Obviously, he wants to reclaim his belt. But then what? The WEC Featherweight Division, though filled with talent, is rife with fighters whom have already been defeated by Faber. He’s cleaned out everyone in his weight class, defeated Jens Pulver, and had a long reign as champ.

Is it time for the California Kid to seek greener pastures? Should he look for stiffer competition? There has been speculation that he may venture into the UFC.

A couple of extra hamburgers, and a little less time in the sauna would easily bring him up to lightweight. A legion of top-notch lightweights currently fill the ranks in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Most notably, is Tyson Griffin, who handed Faber his first defeat via knockout over three years ago. Avenging that loss would be high on the Kid’s "to do" list.

A match with current Lightweight champion B.J. Penn would be a headliner for any PPV event the UFC held. Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, and Roger Huerta are among the other lightweights that could challenge Faber.

If Urijah Faber wishes to move onward and upward in his MMA career, it makes sense to move on. If not to the UFC, then to another organization. Fighting is about competition. And if Faber wants to be a true star in mixed martial arts, he needs richer competition.