Urijah Faber is never someone to back down from a fight as he proved by accepting a bout with the last man to have beaten him, newly crowned bantamweight champion Renan Barao, on just three weeks notice at UFC 169 after Dominick Cruz pulled out injured.
The first time they met Faber come off second best against Barao who won by unanimous decision, but Faber was hampered by a broken rib sustained in the first round on that occasion, and thinks a different approach on February 1st in New Jersey could swing the fight in his favor.
“This time around I’m just in a whole different headspace,” Faber tells the Inside MMA show on AXS TV. “I just feel it was kind of lackluster last time. It may have had something to do with the rib why it was such a slow-paced fight, but there wasn’t a ton of action.
“…I want to make sure that this whole fight is super-exciting, [that] we’re both going for the kill and it’s not a slow-paced fight.
“I feel like Barao’s done a really great job, especially in his last couple of fights, of being the well-rounded fighter. You’ve seen him take the fights to the ground – use his wrestling, use his jiu-jitsu. Against me he was able to slow the pace down and I’m not going to let him do that this time around.”
Barao Vs Faber headlines the UFC 169 fight card on Super Bowl weekend with a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Ricardo Lamas also scheduled for the co-main event of the evening.