Once again, Urijah Faber is going to have to scratch and claw his way back into the bantamweight title picture.
After losing in the UFC 149 main event against Renan Barao, Faber has dropped his last five title fights in the UFC/WEC, and it’s going to be a tough road ahead for “The California Kid” if he wants to earn another shot at the belt.
Despite the loss, Faber is still one of the best fighters in the world at 135 lbs and if any of the many up-and-coming fighters in the division can pull off an upset win over Faber in his next fight, they may soon find themselves in a title fight of their own.
The best young prospect in the bantamweight division, Michael McDonald looks like he’s ready to take the next step in his career and earn a shot at UFC gold.
There’s been talk that McDonald could end up fighting Renan Barao for the interim title at some point later this year, but realistically “Mayday” needs one more solid win before he should be considered the top contender in the division.
Faber’s road back to the belt would be considerably easier if he was able to take out one of the best young fighters in all of MMA, and a win over the Team Alpha Male leader would do wonders for McDonald’s young career.
It seems like Faber has already fought all of the big names in the bantamweight division, but one of the few tough veterans not on Urijah’s resume is Scott Jorgensen.
Jorgensen has been sitting near the top of the bantamweight division for a few years now, but recent losses to Barao and Eddie Wineland have left him far outside of the 135-pound title scene. A win over Faber could help him get back on track.
Faber could use a solid opponent to try and earn his way back into the mix, and Jorgensen could provide just that.
Now that Mike Easton’s earned himself an undefeated 3-0 record inside the Octagon, it’s time for him to get a step up in competition.
“The Hulk” has looked solid in his UFC bouts, and his most recent win over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148 has pushed him into the title picture at 135.
Easton would provide a fun fight for Faber to try to rebound with, and the fact that Easton has trained with Faber’s longtime rival, Dominick Cruz, adds an intriguing wrinkle into this matchup.
Faber is likely going to have to start fighting some lesser-known opponents at this point in his career, and Easton isn’t a bad guy to start with.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Faber defeated Eddie Wineland in his UFC debut at UFC 128, but it may already be time for a rematch.
Wineland is currently riding the momentum of a tremendous knockout win over Scott Jorgensen last month, and while he came up short last time against “The California Kid” there’s no doubt that he wouldn’t mind getting another shot.
There is a serious lack of name opponents for Faber at bantamweight at the moment, as a lot of the top guys have started to drop down to the 125-pound flyweight division, so a rematch with Wineland may make sense.
This matchup was once one of the biggest possible super fights in the sport.
Back when Faber was ruling the WEC’s 145-pound featherweight division, Miguel Torres was doing the same at 135 lbs. When fans realized that Faber could make the cut down to bantamweight, it immediately became the biggest possible super fight under 155 lbs.
Obviously the hype behind this bout has all but died at this point, but for some of the longtime WEC fans this fight could provide a nice bit of nostalgia.
With Torres coming off of a brutal KO loss to Michael McDonald in his last fight, the time is right to set this one up.