UFC 157: Urijah Faber Saves His Job and Makes a Statement vs. Ivan Menjivar

McKinley Noble@KenTheGreat1Correspondent IFebruary 23, 2013

Feb 20, 2013; Torrance, CA, USA;  Urijah Faber during today's public workout at the UFC gym in Torrance, CA. Faber has a bout with Ivan Menjivar on Feb 23 in Anaheim, CA.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Even though it was hard to believe that Urijah Faber was on the chopping black at UFC 157, "The California Kid" hasn't had the best UFC career so far.

After all, before this Saturday, the Team Alpha Male star was a pedestrian 2-2 in the promotion.

Moreover, Faber was also coming off a horrible loss to interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao in one of the worst pay-per-views ever presented by the UFC.

But that's far from the whole story.

Despite his frequent losses in title fights, Faber is that rare kind of fighter who simply doesn't lose to anything less than the sport's elite talents.

Fans were reminded of that as Faber deftly made quick work of solid veteran Ivan Menjivar, putting on a ground-game clinic that saw him use nearly every facet of his impressive skill set.

Menjivar attempted to set the tone early with a beautiful judo toss takedown, but a calm Faber quickly turned it around and gained top position without much trouble.

From there, Faber set down in Menjivar's guard, avoiding submissions and beating his foe into the mat.

Raining down elbow after elbow after elbow, it was pretty clear that the former champion hadn't lost a step.

But as if that weren't impressive enough, Faber baited Menjivar—a submission expert in his own right—into giving up his back.

As usual, that set up another highlight-reel victory.

Jumping on the El Salvadorian's torso with a Spider-Man-esque attack, Faber literally shimmed himself onto his opponent's back, digging in hooks and cinching in a picture-perfect rear-naked choke submission while Menjivar was still on his feet.

It goes without saying, but that should be good enough for Faber to keep his job.

Now that another dominant victory is in the bag, MMA fans can once again be reminded that Faber is still a solid notch above most other fighters in the lighter weight classes—even if he continually comes up short against the champions.


McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and FightFans Radio writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld and PC World. Talk with him on Twitter.