During a Las Vegas media tour for his newly announced headliner with fellow bantamweight Scott Jorgensen at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, Urijah Faber stopped by the MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) discuss a variety of topics, including his alternative approach to medicine.
Faber (27-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC), a former WEC champion and recent UFC title challenger, has often spoken openly about his unique childhood. Growing up in something akin to a Christian commune, he and his family favored raw foods and a different approach to medicine.
The 33-year-old fighter, who meets friend and occasional training partner Jorgensen (14-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) on April in an FX-televised main event at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center, said he hasn’t changed much since then.
“I have never taken an aspirin or a Tylenol or anything like that,” he said. “When I had my hand surgery (in 2009), they put me out, and I think I had something there. But it’s very, very far and few between. I’ve never had immunization shots, and I rarely use conventional medicine.”
With nearly a decade in the sport and 33 professional bouts, Faber has mixed five-round fights into the usual three-rounders. He’s faced vicious strikers such as Jose Aldo, grappled with ground specialists such as Raphael Assuncao and Brian Bowles, and traded punches with strikers such as Dominick Cruz and Eddie Wineland. Mix in frequent and grueling training sessions with his Team Alpha Male teammates, and Faber said he’s become intimately familiar with his body’s recovery process.
“I’m like a firm believer that if you have an ailment, there’s a reason why,” he said. “You don’t treat the symptoms; you treat the ailment.
“If I have a headache, I don’t want to cover that up and all the sudden not have a headache but for some reason my body wants me to have one to let me know to get some sleep or don’t hit your head again or you’re dehydrated. I feel like everything is a cue that you need to take of in a different fashion.”
With a nickname like “The California Kid,” Faber knows many fans are curious about his stance on marijuana, especially in pro sports. While fighters have failed drug tests and gotten their UFC walking papers for using a drug that seemingly adds little to no benefit to a training camp, Faber isn’t a supporter.
It’s natural and safer than most drugs, but Faber said he didn’t use it. Still, he said he’s got no problem if his opponents want to.
“I don’t really mind it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a performance-enhancing thing, and for that reason, if my opponent wants to smoke a bunch of weed, that’s great for me. I don’t think it helps at all. Go ahead, guys.
“I don’t really do it myself. … I’m not like a pothead or anything. That’s probably the one part of ‘The California Kid’ nickname that can get misinterpreted. I’m not really a big advocate for it.”
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