Urijah Faber: Will 'The California Kid' Ever Wear UFC Gold?

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent 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

Urijah Faber is not getting cut, folks. 

Reports circulated that "The California Kid" might be on the chopping block with a lackluster performance against Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157, but we do not have to worry about that now. 

When you get taken down, immediately reverse your opponent and proceed to take his back and choke him out, there is little to complain about and plenty to celebrate. 

Faber's dominant first-round victory will put him right back into title talks in the bantamweight division, and it's hard to argue such a sentiment after his dominant performance against Menjivar.

He may get there again, but will The California Kid ever hoist UFC gold? 

Unfortunately, no, he will not. 

The 135-pound champion, Dominick Cruz, and the interim champion, Renan Barao, have already proved they can defeat Faber inside the Octagon, and age is not on The California Kid's side.

Yes, he looked fantastic against Menjivar, but with just one round of action, it's hard to tell if he really made any improvements to his game. 

We always knew he could grapple, and ranking logic would dictate that he was a much superior fighter than Menjivar. 

That was exactly what we saw, and I personally am not shocked by the result. 

I feel we have already seen Faber's peak ability. If that was not good enough against Barao and Cruz in the past, why should it change?

If Cruz is not the same after rehabbing his knee injury, Barao will dispose of him. At that point, Faber will have to avenge a prior loss to "Pegado," and I simply do not see what he has to offer in that bout.

We already saw Barao handle Faber in all facets of the game, and a rematch would be the same, if not worse for the Team Alpha Male poster boy. 

On the other hand, if Cruz defeats Barao to retain his status as the undisputed champion, that will mean he is back on top of his game, and his style is difficult for Faber to deal with. 

Cruz's speed and ability to transition smoothly from striking to wrestling are flawless when they're on, and even a prime Faber would have difficulty with such an opponent. 

Put simply, Faber looked phenomenal against Menjivar, but he is still just a tick slower and less capable than the top dogs in the division. One big win isn't going to change my mind on the subject, and unfortunately for The California Kid, I see another disappointing result should he challenge for the title again.