Faber not sweating small stuff
It’s a different date to the ball, but Urijah Faber doesn’t care.
‘The California Kid’ was originally scheduled to fight July 7 at UFC 148, but thanks to Dominick Cruz’s injury and Jose Aldo going down, as well, Faber found himself fighting a different opponent on a different day.
But Faber didn’t get to where he is today being fazed by details like that.
“If this were the real world and I was going to fight this guy and he pissed me off in the street, I wouldn’t be worried about anything else, and that’s how we’re going to approach this,” Faber said Thursday at his pre-fight square off with the media at Flames Central. “It’s a fight. Period.”
The 33-year-old, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt has been in this sport too long to worry about anything other than climbing back to the top of the bantamweight class, which he owned for years in the WEC.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any excuses on either side when we do battle,” Faber said. “It’s going to be a war.”
Barao is a 25-year-old Brazilian from the Aldo camp, which adds to the intrigue. Aldo beat Faber back in 2010, and Faber knows they’ve shared information.
“I imagine Barao has some leg kicks planned,” Faber said of Barao’s Jiu-Jitsu-Muay Thai combo. “Some kicks, some knees … He has a lot of diversity in his standup game.”
Oh, and Barao is riding 30-fight win streak — one of the longest in the sport.
No matter what the calibre of opponents look like, Faber’s impressed, and he doesn’t expect Barao to wilt under the pressure of headlining his first main event.
“You don’t get a win streak like that without being mentally stable and strong,” Faber said of the Brazilian’s run.
“I remember my first big opportunity —
I was super excited and motivated. I expect the same from him.”
Barao looked calm and collected through the barrage of questions, sticking to the basics through his translator.
“There’s no pressure at all,” Barao said. “I’m very calm and relaxed. I’m very happy and excited for this opportunity.
“I’ve been working hard for a long time, and I’m going to make the most of it.”
For those who don’t think the main event will measure up, Faber has one word: ‘Barnburner.’
“He’s a guy who goes out there and tries to finish,” Faber said of Barao. “The reason people are going to be tuning in is to find out if he’s better than I am. I don’t think that he is, and he thinks that he is better than I am. We’re going to beat the crap out of each other and find out. And I plan on winning.”
If that happens, it’s the fans who’ll win, too.
On Twitter: @SUNMitchell