UFC's Urijah Faber willing to move divisions to make fights fans want to see


urijah-faber-39.jpgBOSTON – After he meets Yuri Alcantara at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 26, Urijah Faber wants big fights, and he may step up in weight to get them.

“I’m going to talk to (UFC President) Dana (White) and (UFC executive) Lorenzo (Fertitta) and see if we can set up some superfights,” he said. “Maybe even go up to 145 (pounds) to do some stuff. I feel like I need to be in some fights that really matter. Not that this one doesn’t, …this guy’s very tough, but that people care about.”

Asked if he had a specific opponent in mind for a superfight, Faber (28-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) said, “Kind of,” but said he is focused on Alcantara (28-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC), whom he meets in the FOX Sports 1-televised main card at Boston’s TD Garden.

The 34-year-old California native stressed he still wants to win a UFC title, though a “lull in action” brought by the injury layoffs of bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and interim champ Renan Barao is preventing him from doing so.

That’s why he feels the need to start moving the direction he likes – forward.

“It’s all about looking back at my career and saying I fought the best guys,” Faber said today during an open workout in support of the event. “I’m not necessarily going to 145 – I’m just saying I want some big fights, and I’m going to see whatever I have to do to get them.”

For the past two years, Faber has been in something of a holding pattern. Although he’s managed to beat most of the fighters in the division, wins against the division’s best have eluded him. In 2011, he was outpointed by Cruz and one year later lost a decision to Barao.

Now, Faber again finds himself trying to hold his spot as another hungry fighter attempts to knock him down the bantamweight ladder. Alcantara holds victories at over Ricardo Lamas and Michihiro Omigawa at featherweight and Iliarde Santos at bantamweight under the Zuffa banner.

The 33-year-old Brazilian said he wants to be the one to break Faber’s pattern of beating mid-tier opponents and falling short against champions.

From and outsider’s perspective, Faber is in something of a lose-lose situation leading into the bout with Alcantara. If he wins, he gains little in the way of stature, and if he loses, it could be devastating for another chance at the belt.

Still, Faber is looking forward to the challenge of beating another tough opponent.

“28-4 is one of the best records in the weight class, and he’s got 24 finishes, so it’s kind of a no-brainer,” Faber told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “People need to know who he is.

“I look forward to being challenged physically. This guy is probably the biggest guy in the weight class. I saw him at 12:45 last night cutting weight, looking miserable. I was cutting weight, too, but I was having a good time.

“He’s got power in his hands and he’s a good submission guy. So as far as what he brings to the table, he’s just dangerous.”

For the latest on UFC Fight Night 26, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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