Fighter of the Month December 2013 – Urijah Faber
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month: Urijah Faber
Event: UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 (December 14, 2013)
Opponent: Michael McDonald
Result: Submission (Guillotine Choke – Round 2, 3:22)
If there was ever a fight where Urijah Faber could potentially fight a younger version of himself, he had that in Michael McDonald. This would have been one of those passing of the torch type fights, where the older fighter gives up his position to the younger, who for them the skies the limit. Faber had other thoughts, and showed why he is clearly still in tip-top shape and will be the next challenger for the UFC Bantamweight championship.
Very few have a record like Urijah Faber. This surefire future Hall of Famer shows why the best fighter to never hold a UFC title is he. He continued his record of winning all of his non-title fights. But no fight may have showcased that more.
Michael McDonald never had a chance. Faber simply outclassed the young star, and had the battle won wherever he decided to take the fight. The striking battle: all Faber’s. The ground battle: all Faber’s. McDonald was clearly dumfounded at fighting one of his heroes, but Faber did care and took care of business on December 14th.
In one of the best finishes in 2013, Faber forced McDonald to the cage with strikes and eventually submitted his younger foe via guillotine choke. Father Time has yet to knock on Faber’s door, and at this point, it would not be a surprise if Faber choked Father Time out anyway. For that reason, PunchDrunkGamer.com would be honored to reward Urijah Faber our Fighter of the Month for December 2013! Good luck Faber!
1. Demetrious Johnson (UFC on Fox – December 14, 2013) – December was the month of rematches, and no one put a stamp on the rematch like Demetrious Johnson did. Taking on Joseph Benavidez for the second time, Mighty Mouse kept his speed in check and waiting for the perfect opportunity to counter the power punching of Benavidez. It did not take a round as Johnson dropped Benavidez and he was out before he hit the mat. Demetrious Johnson has officially removed the stigma that he cannot finish fights.
2. Ronda Rousey (UFC 168 – December 28, 2013) – Some rivalries just need that classic fight to justify the heat between the two fighters. This was that sort of fight. Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate put on a great performance in the co-main event at UFC 168. Miesha Tate took Rousey out of the initial round for the first time ever, but that is where the praise for Tate ends. A silly gameplan from Tate gave Rousey the opportunity to toss around the challenger like a ragdoll and it still ended the same via armbar, and Rousey continued to raise her stock.
3. Mauricio Rua (UFN 33 – December 6, 2013) – A move to the middleweight division is cancelled. Shogun nearly decapitated James Te Huna in the first round. Looking like the Shogun of old, Mauricio Rua is relevant again. Perhaps it was the change of training camps, but this was the sort of knockout that will place Rua on a fast track back to title contention.
4. Rico Verhoeven (GLORY 13 Tokyo – December 21, 2013) – 2013 was some year for Rico Verhoeven. So much of the attention has been on his winning of the title but if you look at the names he has defeated, Verhoeven is clearly a Fighter of the Year contender. Verhoeven proved that he is the next big thing when he defeated Peter Aerts at GLORY 13 Tokyo. Although it was considered a split decision, Verhoeven still defeated one of the top names in kickboxing.
5. Travis Browne (UFC 168 – December 28, 2013) – Eventually someone is going to learn about attempting to takedown Travis Browne. This guy will punish you from that position. The fact that he can garner that much strength in his elbows from the cage position is unreal. Josh Barnett learned the hard way. With this victory, Browne becomes a legitimate threat in the heavyweight division.
*Update – The bad luck for Dominick Cruz continues, as it was announced by UFC President Dana White that after being sidelined since late-2011 with a knee injury, Cruz has suffered a groin tear, forcing him out of his UFC 169 main event in New Jersey against interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao. After this latest turn of events, Cruz has chosen to vacate his title, and Urijah Faber will now step up to face Barao, who was named bantamweight champion, for the undisputed 135-pound crown on February 1 at the Prudential Center in Newark. Faber has won four straight bouts since a decision loss to Barao at UFC 149 in July of 2012. Brazil’s Barao currently sports a 21 fight winning streak, and he has not lost since April of 2005.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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