UFC bantamweight contender and MMA star Urijah Faber has fought a who's who of current top flight fighters in his highly decorated career and has had a number of tough fights. The list of notables he gone battled with include names such as Tyson Griffin, Bibiano Fernandes, Dominick Cruz, Jeff Curran, Jens Pulver, Mike Brown, Raphael Assuncao, Jose Aldo and Takeya Mizugaki along with many others.
For Faber though, choosing his toughest fight is easy.
"I gotta say Jose Aldo [was my toughest fight] for sure, just because he's such a... he found a way to disarm me," Faber said. "I feel like the first round I was doing a good job of defending. I knew those kicks were coming and I was doing push-kicks and switching stances and things like that to avoid and landing my punches, but he made an adjustment and was so good at one thing that he was able to utilize it and change the fight.
"And aside from that, the guy's a star athlete, and you know he's got the mental game also. I was in there for 25 minutes with him so I know. On top of that, he'd knocked out or finished the previous six guys in his past. So the guy is very good and I could definitely feel that when I was in there."
The fight was a war, with Faber displaying the heart of a lion just to make it through five rounds with the dominant featherweight champ. Faber was kicked in the legs with such ferocity and frequency during the fight that he could barely stand at times and it looked as if a stiff wind could blow him over. The former champion fought on however, and earned a moral victory in becoming the only fighter in WEC history to take Aldo to a decision.
Faber dropped down from the featherweight limit of 145-pounds to 135-pounds and his natural weight class of bantamweight following the fight, but believes that he might like to face the featherweight champ again in the future if things fall into place.
"I see that it could be something down the road that could be built back up again," Faber said. "I think what needs to happen is that I need to get this [bantamweight] belt with the UFC and defend it for a while, and then see if that's a superfight down the road."
He may not get the chance to face Aldo as champion however. His undefeated protege Chad Mendes may get to him first according to Faber. The undefeated Mendes, 26, has quickly climbed the ranks of the featherweight division, boasting outstanding wrestling skill and a solid overall game. The young prospect appears to be on the fast track to a title shot.
"He's going to have his hands full with Chad Mendes in a couple fights here," Faber said. "Chad's 10-0 and as far as wrestling goes, he is one of the most effective wrestlers in the sport, far more so than I am. And he's a little bit bigger and stronger so it's going to be a good fight for him also."
While another fight with Aldo would certainly appeal to fans were Faber able to become the dominant UFC bantamweight champion, he will first have to get past a slew of big name contenders, which will likely include a fight with former champion Miguel Torres.
While Faber was reining over the WEC's featherweight division,...