UFC 157 Preview: 5 Questions We Have About Urijah Faber

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterFebruary 23, 2013

UFC 157 Preview: 5 Questions We Have About Urijah Faber

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    At UFC 157, Urijah Faber returns. Part of me wonders, though, is this is a law of diminishing returns?

    Faber lives forever in the minds of fans as the handsome, charming, young surfer dude. His nickname is "The California Kid."

    But he's not a kid anymore. Now 33, he is sliding inexorably into the role of elder statesman. How will that transition unfold? Will Faber adjust his sails to the shifting winds, or is he determined to stay forever young? In only his third fight in the past 15 months, Faber entertains the well-respected underdog Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157.

    Here are five questions we have about Faber going into the bout Saturday night.

Can He Be Outworked?

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    We know both Faber and Menjivar are cardio standouts—at least historically. Will the years catch up to Faber? Will he still be able to outwork and outlast his opponent?

Can He Stay on Top?

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    Menjivar is a fine grappler, but his bread and butter is the stand-up game. Faber, of course, is a wrestler first and foremost. A successful Faber will get Menjivar horizontal and keep him there for some of the strongest ground-and-pound in the history of the lighter-weight divisions.

Can He Work a Game Plan?

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    Faber tried to beat Renan Barao at his own game. But takedowns were stuffed, and big shots were rebuffed. Make no mistake about it, Barao picked Faber apart, and Faber had no plan B. Can he find a way to solve Menjivar?

Will He Check Leg Kicks?

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    Team Alpha Male grapplers seem to have some kind of philosophical problem with acknowledging the existence of leg kicks. And Menjivar can throw them, too. Will Faber be able to prevent big damage below the waist?

Will That Dominick Cruz Trilogy Ever Complete Itself? Does Anyone Still Care?

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    Interim champ Renan Barao undoubtedly has first crack at the lineal champ whenever Dominick Cruz returns. But the Faber-Cruz rivalry—currently tied at one apiece—used to have some legitimate heat. Can they rekindle it? Is that still a big-money fight? Faber's performance should provide some answers.