California Kid already talks of belt: “The division needs finishers”

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Faber in action at WEC 52. Photo: Josh Hedges.

It took less than a round for the former king of the featherweight division to confirm his dominance in his new weight group. The California Kid choked Takeya Mizugaki unconscious with a rear-naked choke on his bantamweight debut.

The drop in weight classes didn’t affect Urijah Faber’s performance in the least, as he went on the attack from the outset with strikes and kicks the Japanese fighter responded to well. In a pummeling exchange from the clinch, Faber attacked with a guillotine, Mizugaki defended, but gave up his back. The Jiu-Jitsu purple belt swiftly fastened a figure-four around his waist and worked the choke. The Japanese fighter held out until he passed out 1:35 min into the first round.

“The Japanese have fighting spirit and Mizugaki is known for going all the way. So I knew I had to do something drastic to beat him,” said Faber, shortly after sinking the decisive hold.

Now, having won the light featherweight division and with an impressive CV in other divisions, Faber is looking to win the divisional belt, when the fighters move on to the UFC in 2011. And there doesn’t seem to be much cordiality between Faber and current divisional champion Dominick Cruz.

“I want to finish. I’m a finisher and I think that’s what this division needs. We’re going to the UFC. I had an impressive career in the WEC, but it’s time to intensify training, go for my belt in the UFC, and live a dream.

The rematch between Faber and Cruz – the first fight won by Urijah  in 2007 – seems to be the perfect matchup for the UFC. However, Cruz first has to defend his belt for the last time in the WEC against Scott Jorgensen at the promotional farewell in December.

(Collaborator: Junior Samurai)

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