Dana White: Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes are “Definitely Right There” for Title Shots


Dominick Cruz and Urijah FaberFollowing their wins at UFC on Fox 9 in Sacramento, Calif., Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes are as close as two guys can get to title shots.

UFC president Dana White said on Saturday night that each fighter, Faber at bantamweight and Mendes at featherweight, is in the mix for a rematch with his respective divisional champion.

“They look great,” White said of Faber and Mendes at the UFC on Fox 9 post-fight press conference. “Faber’s in this ‘Vitor zone’ right now where the older he gets, the better he gets. Seriously, if you look at how good [Michael] McDonald really is… he literally shut Michael down the entire fight and finished him. It was a great performance.

“As far as Mendes goes, the first 2:20 is the Chad Mendes that we know. He went in there and fought with the flu. Imagine going in and fighting with flu-type symptoms or even a cold. It’s something you can’t even imagine. I have a lot of respect for both of them, and they’re definitely right there.”

Faber decimated the 22-year-old McDonald, finishing the young fighter with a guillotine choke in the second round of the co-main event. Leading up to the submission, however, is where Faber showed a ferocity that looked as though he was a young up-and-comer.

“The California Kid” said he would love to get another shot at the title, no matter how big the opposition might be.

“I’ll fight Godzilla; I’ll fight King Kong – I don’t care,” Faber said.

Mendes revealed at the press conference that he fought with a sinus infection, and refused to take antibiotics to fight the sickness in the weeks leading up to his fight. The infection was getting better, he said, but it unexpectedly got worse as fight night approached.

Despite the infection, Mendes powered through the 15-minute affair with a scrappy Nik Lentz to earn the unanimous decision.

“After that first round, I could feel it getting heavy on my chest,” Mendes said. “But not making any excuses. Nik Lentz is a tough dude.”

Faber first fought for the bantamweight title against interim champ Renan Barão at UFC 149 in July 2012. Barao won the bout by unanimous decision, and is currently awaiting the return of injured champ Dominick Cruz to unify the titles at UFC 169 in February.

Mendes fought 145-pound champ Jose Aldo at UFC 142, losing in the first round, after the titleholder landed a knee that won the fight by knockout. Aldo is currently preparing to face Ricardo Lamas on the same UFC 169 card as Cruz and Barao.

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