Urijah Faber "The California Kid" really needed a victory, and he got it, defeating Ivan Menjivar by way of submission late in the first round.
Faber utilized his wrestling early and often, testing Menjivar's submission skills by going for takedowns early on. Menjivar held his own in the early going, scoring a takedown of his own, but ultimately made one too many mistakes.
Faber took Menjivar's back and never let go. It didn't take long for him to sink in the standing rear naked choke and force the tap out from Menjivar.
Urijah Faber bounced back from a loss to interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao at UFC 149, to defeat the tough Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157 on Saturday night.
Faber had lost two of his last three fights, and even though the losses came to the interim champion and champion of the division (Dominick Cruz), a fighter of Faber's caliber certainly didn't want to be saddled with a third loss in four fights.
That would have caused many to doubt that Faber still deserved to be mention in the same breath as the elite bantamweights in the world.
Fortunately, Faber won't have to endure any of that talk.
The win over Menjivar improved his record to 27-6, and it dropped the veteran from El Salvador's record to 25-10.
Coming into the fight Sherdog.com had Faber rated second amongst bantamweights behind Barao.
With Cruz on the shelf with a knee injury, and Barao defeating a game but overmatched Michael McDonald at UFC on Fuel 7, it appears that Faber and Barao are separating themselves from the pack.
Barao has yet to face Cruz, so once the champion is healed, it is only right that he get the first shot. But once that champion vs. champion battle is done, Faber is in line to take on the winner.
He's already been bested by both men, but if he continues to defeat the other contenders, there won't be much else Dana White can do, but give Faber another shot.
We'll see how things transpire in the coming months, but for now, Faber has proven he's still a top contender.
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