UFC 157: What We Learned from Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar

Andrew Saunders@SaundersMMACorrespondent IIFebruary 23, 2013

Photo: MMAJunkie.com
Photo: MMAJunkie.com

Charismatic superstar Urijah Faber made his UFC return on the main card of UFC 157 in a rematch against Tristar Gym's Ivan Menjivar.

Menjivar has looked solid since joining the UFC roster, putting together a 4-1 record that includes three finishes, while Faber has a 2-2 record inside the Octagon. However, both losses came in championship fights.

This fight was a rematch from 2006, when Faber won by disqualification after Menjivar threw illegal knees. However, this time, the win was not tainted by a penalty finish, as Faber scored a first-round submission via standing rear-naked choke.


What we'll remember about this fight

The excellent transition that an elevated Faber used to gain back mount on a standing Menjivar is noteworthy. The choke that followed was pretty excellent, but the maneuvering of Faber stands out as the most memorable moment.

Another lasting image from this fight was the series of elbows that Faber threw while in Menjivar's guard. 


What we learned about Urijah Faber

Faber isn't ready to lie down and die. Faber debunked the rumor that he was retiring, showing incredible dominance in the cage to back up his poise.


What we learned about Ivan Menjivar

Menjivar is capable of being forced into a submission. It has been more than a decade since the last time anyone tapped "the Pride of El Salvador," including a grappling clinic against Hideo Tokoro.


What's next for Urijah Faber?

Anything but a title shot. Faber consistently earns berths, some of which are unjustified. Make him work for it and build up a winning streak before tossing him into yet another undeserved title fight.

A fight with Scott Jorgensen would make sense. It's an exciting fight, a new opponent for Faber and Jorgensen is coming off a nice December win.


What's next for Ivan Menjivar?

Menjivar is a fighter whose door will never close as long as he keeps his job. Potential fights with Brian Bowles or Michael McDonald are appealing, as is a rematch with Brad Pickett. All three fighters are ranked and coming off a loss.

However, it might be time for Menjivar to take a step back and have a fun fight with George Roop, who returns to the bantamweight division in March.