Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Stockton Ports-Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game on Friday, May 8. For all you baseball/mma fans, the Ports hit a walk-off home-run to down the Quakes 8-7.
Having already tuned up his fastball, “The California Kid” now turns his attention to throwing out the first pitch at the Oakland A’s game on May 26.
Faber will look to replace the term "former champion" with the more marketable "two time champion" when he rematches current champion Mike Brown on June 7 in Sacramento.
The event is appropriately being called WEC 41: Brown vs. Faber 2.
Many people considered Faber unbeatable at featherweight and he was a fixture in all the top 10 pound-for-pound lists, which rank the best fighters the sport had to offer.
Apparently Mike Brown, an American Top Team trained fighter, didn't get the "unbeatable" memo prior to their fight. Or he did, and wanted Faber's spot on the pound-for pound list.
He walked into their WEC 36 fight, a man on a mission and a man on fire.
That mission was completed when Brown turned Faber's errant backspin elbow strike into the opportunity he needed to finish the fight.The finish came with Brown grounding and pounding Faber out of commission, taking WEC Gold in the process.
Since their last fight, both men have fought one time.
Brown's first title defense came against Leonard Garcia at WEC 39.
Garcia came out aggressively, but blundered by circling in the wrong direction. Brown capitalized, knocking Garcia down with a big right hand. That big right culminated in Brown securing an arm triangle choke from full mount.
Brown said that he didn't really feel like the champion after the Faber fight, but he was happy he established himself as the champion with his victory over Garcia.
Faber took a rematch with former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver. The two had fought for Faber's title back at WEC 34. Faber and Pulver went toe-to-toe for all five rounds, with Faber getting the better of Pulver throughout.The judges scored the bout a unanimous decision for Faber, 50-45, 50-44 and 50-44.
In their rematch, Faber was not in the mood for another impressive decision win. He submitted Pulver via guillotine choke a minute and a half into the fight.While many considered the fight a "puff fight," the win put Faber back in the title picture.
With Pulver out of the equation, and Garcia on the sidelines, Faber and Brown can get back to what feels like unsettled business. While their first fight was exciting, in no way did it feel like a finished fight - despite the ground-and-pounding Faber took.
Brown knows Faber is better than that performance. That is why he didn't feel like the champion after that fight.
A few questions form in the mind as this fight grows closer.
Will Faber tighten up his game and be less free spirited or will he 'stick to his guns?' Will Brown solidify himself as the real featherweight sheriff or will he be forced out of town by Faber's 'guns-a- blazing.'
This wild-west "shoot out in Sacramento" is just a month away. The only question left to ask is: which featherweight are you saddling horse to?