MMA Urijah was offered Kid, but...(interview)

Discussion in 'OT Bar' started by Atmosphere, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere PURPLE DREAM

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    http://www.sportsline.com/mmaboxing/story/10475372/2

    Last week World Extreme Cagefighting officially announced plans to hold its final card of 2007 on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

    The promotion will be thanking its loyal fans by holding three title matches on the card with Doug Marshall defending the light heavyweight title against Ariel Gandulla; Paulo Filho expected to defend the middleweight title against Chael Sonnen; and the company's signature star Urijah Faber defending his featherweight title against Jeff Curran.

    The card, to be televised on the Versus network, will also feature the WEC debut of former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver, who will be returning to 145 pounds and facing up and comer Cub Swanson.

    CBSSports.com was able to catch up with Faber during a recent trip to Philadelphia and get his thoughts on Curran, Pulver, Kid Yamamoto, and other hot button topics pertaining to his career.

    CBSSports.com: Since fighting on Versus have more people been recognizing you in public?

    Urijah Faber: Yeah, a ton! Especially around events that are MMA-related -- it's like everyone. In the general public? Yeah, when I go to the grocery store or the airport.

    Q: Is it weird to suddenly get all that recognition?

    UF: I was on (the documentary) Warrior Nation, which went out to a large audience on MSNBC and it started there and it just rolled into the WEC. So it's been pretty consistent. It's cool because I've been in the game and have been one of the bigger names in the 145-pound weight class for a long time and it's just now starting to get mainstream attention. So yeah, it's cool; it's neat.

    Q: Does the increased notoriety ever become a distraction?

    UF: No, because my life hasn't changed. I go to the gym and I go home and travel for promotional stuff. A million people can know who you are but if you're in your own little world then it doesn't really matter anyway. So no, it doesn't bother me and doesn't change anything.

    Q: Nick Diaz has been critical recently of fighters who want to live the glamorous side of the fight game without paying their dues in the gym. With the increased popularity of MMA on a mainstream level, do you find yourself encountering more fighters who are trying to break in for the wrong reasons?

    UF: Yeah, and basically what it comes down to is that there are a lot of poser guys out there and that's just the way it is. What is happening, which is good about MMA, is a lot of the general public is getting involved hands-on. A lot of the guys who talk the big game normally aren't (getting involved with MMA) and some of these business guys that are just everyday people are actually pretty well-trained if they're getting into the right gyms. You never really know but more often than not the guys that are yapping at the gums about being an MMA fighter probably aren't the real deal.

    Q: You're scheduled to defend the WEC featherweight title against Jeff Curran on Dec. 12 on Versus. How does Curran rate against your recent opponents?

    UF: I think he's probably a little more well-rounded; definitely more experienced and he's fought on higher levels so I don't think that he's necessarily a step above them, but credentials-wise, he's definitely more established. You saw it against (Stephen Ledbetter); Ledbetter could be a guy that they put up against me and if I would have finished him in the first round everyone would have said "Oh, well, he's a nobody." These guys are tough guys. These guys are taking it serious. They are tough fighters and they are doing the right things for training so I don't think he's (Curran) any different other than he has more experience.

    Q: Jens Pulver will be fighting on the same card in his first WEC bout. In some ways, he was a pioneer for the lighter weight classes on the big stage. When you first got into MMA was he someone you looked up to?

    UF: Yeah, definitely. I was a big Jens Pulver fan and a big MMA fan in general. But even when I was in high school watching those guys I didn't think that they were untouchable. I considered myself, and part of is just my personality, as someone that could fight them in the future. But Jens has been a great addition to the fight world, especially for the lighter weights. He's been a great showcase for the lightweights and he's done a lot of great things. I'm really happy that he's continuing to do things and I think he has a purpose for what he's doing. Not only does he believe he can win and do things that are good for his career but he understands the bigger side of things and I respect him for that.

    Q: If you had to handicap his match with Cub Swanson, how do you see that going down? Who would you consider the favorite?

    UF: I think people underestimate Jens' grappling because he went through that stint where he was trying to be a crowd pleaser and go standup with everyone because he thought that was what everyone wanted. And I think people have kind of forgotten that he wrestled at Boise State, which is a Division I college and it was a powerhouse in the Pac-10 during my time. He was a little before my time but he comes from a good pedigree in wrestling and if he really decides he wants to he'll be fine on the ground, if he puts his time in.

    It's hard to say with this fight because Cub Swanson has got momentum in his favor but Jens, if he decides he wants it, might have an edge.

    Q: Do you think if Pulver wins that match that he could be the next challenger for you, if you're able to get past Jeff Curran?

    UF: I believe so. I think that is the next fight for us. And I think that would be a good one for me and a good one for the WEC and the featherweight division because he does have a good name. Not only is he a former UFC champion but he was on The Ultimate Fighter show, which is huge for notoriety. It would be a great fight for me and a great win for me if I got the opportunity.

    Q: If you had to come up with a top five ranking at 145 lbs., who would be in it?

    UF: You know, I don't know a lot of the guys in Japan that they got in the rankings right now. I know (Shinya) Aoki, Jeff (Curran) and Kid Yamamoto should be up there. He's (Yamamoto) done some incredible things (and has) some flashy knockouts; he's got good power and high-caliber wrestling. He's an incredible athlete. I think he and I are probably two at the top list and the list just goes down from there.

    There's a bunch of guys from Japan I don't even know -- (Antonio) Carvalho has also been getting a lot of pub -- but I feel like it's just a little bit overrated over there because they've had such a long history with the lightweights. But I've fought guys from Japan and have fought guys that have been in the same circuits and I think it's just a matter of time before I'm hands down considered the number one performer at 145 pounds.

    Q: Speaking of Yamamoto, the last time I interviewed you, you expressed an interest in fighting him. Have you gone to Zuffa to ask them to help facilitate a match with Kid Yamamoto?

    UF: Yeah, I have. And actually, I'm under contract to the WEC, but I was contacted by K-1 and offered the fight last September. Somebody said something and I put them in touch with my manager and we're not even allowed to talk about it with them because I'm under contract. It wasn't going to happen but he knows who I am and I think that's a big fight for both of us.

    Q: Do you think there's any chance that the WEC would try and make an inter-promotion match?

    UF: Zuffa is trying to obtain the best talent in the world (and) I don't think they will let it happen unless they have him under their umbrella. :mad: But I know that they are going to try and make it happen if they can. That's a big fight. As the featherweights gain more momentum and my notoriety goes up and the weight class in general gets more recognized ... people know who Kid Yamamoto is. He's a superstar in Japan and that's what they're trying to create with me in the WEC here in America. I think it's just a matter of time.

    Q: A strong case can be made that you're the No. 1 featherweight in the world right now and you've been unstoppable in the WEC. Is there a desire for you to try and take things to the next level, and if so, is there anything specific you have in mind?

    UF: Yeah, I do. I was a 133-pounder in college for five years, that's really my competition weight. If I didn't have the championship at 145 pounds then I might go down to 135 pounds. I could also have fights at 155. So in my future I hope to get some belts at different weights, up and down. I don't know if there's been someone in MMA who has had belts in three separate classes. That's something I definitely know I can do.





    :hs:
     
  2. SCirone

    SCirone Moderator

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    Didnt he renew his contract with WEC after September?
     
  3. f-g

    f-g OT Supporter

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    why the urijah hate?
     
  4. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere PURPLE DREAM

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    sounds like he's just very confident in himself more than he is cocky to me
     
  5. f-g

    f-g OT Supporter

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    I went to a wrestling camp and rolled with urijah a little so I like the guy :o

    nohomo
     
  6. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    i dont know what it is about him but i hate him so much too :rofl:
     
  7. it's the chin
     
  8. he really is out of the loop if he thinks aoki is in any way involved with 145
     
  9. Mejnoon

    Mejnoon Active Member

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    I used to think so too, but I met him and chit chatted with him a little, he's a nice guy. Just supremely confident.
     
  10. checkii

    checkii ฝรั่งตาน้ำข้าว

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    :bowdown:
     
  11. KingJeff

    KingJeff New Member

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    wtf? Urijah by gnp.
     
  12. KingJeff

    KingJeff New Member

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    He's actually a kool laid back guy, doesn't talk shit and just fights. I train at his gym and he trains like a madman.
     
  13. checkii

    checkii ฝรั่งตาน้ำข้าว

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    then he is juat a complete fuck stick when cameras are on him.

    time for Curran to send him back to folding shirts at abercrombie.
     
  14. Mejnoon

    Mejnoon Active Member

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    Curran is gonna get rolled up
     

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