At this past weekend’s UFC, Bantamweight stud Urijah Faber staked his claim as number one contender with a submission win over Michael McDonald. Both Faber and UFC President Dana White have been in the news media talking about a title shot for Faber in 2014. Faber has run his most recent winning streak to four, and in taking out McDonald impressively he sent a fighter considered a young gun and rising contender to the back of the line. BUt is Faber worthy of a title shot?
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There is starting to be a stigma around Team Alpha Male, and that is that they cannot win the big one. This is going to be the third title shot in the UFC for Faber after falling flat. The other two members of the ‘big three’ on TAM, Joseph Benavidez and Chad Mendes, have also failed in their title runs with Benavidez failing resoundingly in his second attempt this past weekend.
Faber lost his WEC title to Mike Brown, a solid fighter who also failed to make an impact after coming to the UFC. Subsequently, Faber has failed to win gold in his last shot at WEC against Jose Aldo, and he has lost two other UFC title matches to Renan Barao and Dominic Cruz.
But the bottom line is that Faber has been working on his game and looks to be more focused than ever as he enters the latter stages of his career.
First, there is the Dominick Cruz versus Renan Barao unification of the interim title that Faber failed to win. Once that fight happens, Faber will likely be the first to get a shot at the new champion.
It would be good to see Faber, as the elder statesman of his team, be the one to break through and get rid of the title jinx the guys have put together. Even entering his mid thirties, and against men he has lost to before, Faber probably has the best shot at winning gold of any of his teammates.