With his high-energy personality and fighting talent, Urijah Faber became the face of the WEC.
That was almost 10 years ago.
Since losing the featherweight title to Mike Brown via first-round TKO on Nov. 5, 2008, Faber has had five more chances to win a title. He’s 0-for-5.
He has won plenty of fights in between, though, enough to keep warranting future title shots. Faber is 12-1 in nontitle fights since that bout with Brown nearly eight years ago.
Faber, 37, gets a sixth chance at gold this Saturday when he challenges bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, his biggest rival, at UFC 199 in Las Vegas. A loss would make Faber (33-8) the first in history to go 0-4 in UFC title fights.
A look at how “The California Kid” has performed in his title fights in the past eight years.
WEC 41: Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown
June 7, 2009
In his rematch from eight months earlier, Faber suffered a broken hand early in the fight and could barely use it. He made it through the fight but lost by unanimous decision.
WEC 48: Urijah Faber vs. Jose Aldo
April 24, 2010
Shortly after losing this fight by unanimous decision, Faber posted a photo of his leg. It was purple. Deep purple. The result of receiving leg kicks for 25 minutes from WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
UFC 132: Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz
July 2, 2011
The only fighter to beat Cruz in his career was Faber. That was four years before this fight when Faber was the WEC featherweight champion. This fight had Cruz as the bantamweight champion and was the UFC’s first 135-pound division title fight after it absorbed the WEC. The fight was competitive throughout, with Cruz winning by unanimous decision. The judges’ scores were 50-40, 49-46, 48-47.
UFC 149: Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao
July 21, 2012
Lost five-round decision
With Cruz injured, the UFC set up an interim bantamweight title fight. Renan Barao easily kept Faber away from the gold again, winning by scores of 50-45, 49-46, 49-46.
UFC 169: Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao
Feb. 1, 2014
Cruz was supposed to fight Barao on this night, but he pulled out with another knee injury a month prior, thus setting up Faber for a rematch. This one was even more one-sided. Barao stopped Faber via TKO by punches at the 3:42 mark of the first round. Faber got dropped by Barao and wobbled, but he covered up during the big flurry of punches and didn’t take much damage, leading some to say the referee’s stoppage was premature.