UFC 149 Fight Card: Urijah Faber and the 10 Most Popular UFC Non-Champions
Urijah Faber has it all.
From his incredible talent as a mixed martial artist to his budding writing career to his envy-inducing physique (come on, I'm just saying what we have all thought at one point or another), Faber is missing nothing in his life.
Well, maybe he is missing one thing.
One really, really important thing, to be exact.
Faber, for all his talent and popularity, has never held the UFC championship belt around his waist, a streak he hopes to break at UFC 149 when he squares off against Brazilian phenom Renan Barao.
In honor of Faber and other fighters like him who, despite massive popularity, have never had their share of the UFC belt, I present to you this slideshow.
Chris Leben is the man. Like, seriously, the man.
Inside the UFC Octagon, "The Crippler" comes to fight like few others. He shows up to either give or receive a crushing knockout, and that style has won him plenty of fans across the globe.
Unfortunately, that style has led to him being finished five times under the UFC banner, and this inability to piece together a streak has kept him away from UFC gold.
Still, his wars will always be remembered and replayed by UFC fans, and that is a feat to be proud of.
Let me retract a previous statement.
I know I just said Chris Leben is "the man," but that title more deservedly goes to Mr. Brian Stann.
As a Marine, Stann risked his life (quite literally) for our freedoms, and for that, my sincerest thanks go your way, sir.
Aside from his success as a soldier and all-around passionate human being, Stann is one hell of a fighter as well.
After being introduced to life inside the Octagon on a low note in a submission loss to Krzysztof Soszynski, Stann has compiled an impressive 6-2 record, with only one loss since dropping to the middleweight division.
With a bout against Michael Bisping scheduled for UFC 152, Stann is on the cusp of a title bid at 185 lbs—but for now he remains one of our favorite fighters to never win gold.
Chris "Lights Out" Lytle, like Brian Stann, is a sensational human being.
Besides being a fighter, Lytle is an established politician and caring father in his home state of Indiana.
This passion for everything he puts his heart to certainly carried into the UFC Octagon, as he amassed a ridiculous six "Fight of the Night" bonuses during his UFC career, including one in his final bout—a submission victory over Dan Hardy.
Lytle was always entertaining, and he was one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game, but he never pieced together the streak necessary to earn a title shot.
Hey, he is still a winner in this writer's eyes, though, and that has to count for something.
Oh, it doesn't? Carry on then.
I never knew watching the Energizer Bunny fight could be so damn fun.
Clay "The Carpenter" Guida has a nonstop motor, and that has led to him picking up six "Fight of the Night" and two "Fight of the Year" bonuses in his solid UFC career.
Despite this success among fans and critics alike, Guida always falters on the biggest stages against top competition, and recent losses to current champion Ben Henderson and contender Gray Maynard have kept him from the coveted lightweight belt.
Championship or no championship, though, people tune in to watch Guida fight.
Few fighters bring the pressure like Diego Sanchez.
His epic clash with Clay Guida won him the 2009 "Fight of the Year" honor, but it also served to show just how dedicated he is to pleasing his fans.
"The Dream" goes for broke, win or lose, and that is exactly the kind of fighter we all love to watch.
Even though Sanchez has fought for the UFC belt once in his career, it was a losing effort, and he now looks to be out of contention for the immediate future.
On a positive note, Sanchez, like a fine wine or LeBron James' hairline, gets better with age-- each of his last three performances inside the Octagon won "Fight of the Night" honors.
Yo Kenny, I feel for you bro.
Kenny "K-Flo" Florian has to be the biggest sob story in UFC history (that is, if MMA fans were capable of crying, which they are not).
Florian has fought for the title a remarkable three times and faltered on each occasion.
That has to sting. Badly.
Now retired, Florian had the incredible misfortune of being the second best fighter in whatever weight class he chose during his career, and for that, he earns a spot on our list.
Hey, I said "popular" not "beloved," right?
Michael "The Count" Bisping has the tendency to rub people the wrong way with his arrogance, which sometimes transforms into straight-up disrespect, making him popular for all the wrong reasons.
Bisping's every move is subject to criticism, and his haters lurk everywhere just hoping he will fail (how good did it feel when Hendo's H-bomb landed?!).
More times than not, though, "The Count" has found himself on the winning end of his UFC bouts, and he has an impressive 12-4 record with the organization to show for his efforts.
Those losses, however, were so imperfectly placed that Bisping has never fought for, let alone won, the UFC middleweight championship.
While some would prefer he just keep it that way, Bisping is steadily climbing back up the ranks and putting himself in line for a shot at the title.
That fine picture epitomizes the career of Dan Henderson, and it summarizes why MMA fans get weak at the knees when we hear his name.
Dan Henderson is the ultimate gamer, traversing three weight classes throughout his career and stopping along the way to fight the best of the best in each division.
Heard of any of those guys?
Hendo has fought for the UFC title twice in this illustrious career but fell short on each occasion.
Now, like Kenny Florian before him, Hendo finds himself in line for a third shot at the title, this time against light heavyweight phenom Jon Jones.
Is the third time the charm?
Whoa, what a shocker! The guy the slideshow was designed for made the list!
Urijah Faber was the longtime king of the lower weight classes, and his run in the WEC's featherweight division as champion was nothing short of spectacular.
Still, his mantle is incomplete without the UFC strap.
In a bantamweight showdown with Renan Barao, Faber will look to get back to his dominant form and show the Brazilian what a champion is made of.
He has been there before, now he just needs to do it again.
In many ways, Wanderlei Silva is the Chuck Norris of MMA.
He is loved by all, revered and scary as all hell.
Similarly, he is old, past his prime and probably a bit overrated...but that's OK!
Silva was a true terror in Pride's middleweight division, but he could never find his groove under the bright lights of the UFC.
That did not stop fans from pouring in by the thousands to see him fight, though, and for that, Silva caps off our list in style.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Wanderlei Silva.