Urijah Faber was unfortunate to become runner up to Renan Barao in the fashion that he did at UFC 169. The bout was nowhere near as close as the first meeting between the two, and ‘Baron’ walked away scratch free after an early TKO. It wasn’t all that simple though, as the stoppage looked to be rather premature.
Referee Herb Dean appeared to respond more to Barao’s appeal to get the finish, rather than the fact that ‘The California Kid’ seemed to be OK. UFC president Dana White weighed in on the matter at the event’s post fight presser:
“You know you’ve heard me up here a million times talk about Herb Dean -- I think he’s the best referee in the business,” white said. “He rarely ever makes mistakes, but he made a mistake tonight. Faber was blocking those shots, he gave the thumb’s up. You know, the guy’s the best in the business as far as I’m concerned. Tonight he made a mistake.”
I have to agree that Dean was a little early on the stoppage, but I’d prefer that as opposed to some of the atrocious beatings that some fighters are allowed to take. Faber, of course, responded to the situation like a total boss:
“This is the sport we’re in,” Faber said. “It’s funny, Herb Dean was the referee when I lost my first fight against Tyson Griffin. I did like a cage-dive into a steel bar and I ended up getting seven staples in my head in the first eight seconds. I almost got knocked out like two or three times, and he let me fight through it all. You know?”
“I’ve had wrestling matches where I’ve been dazed before and had to do four or five matches in the same day. So it’s unfortunate, being a guy that’s very tough that prides myself on that, in a big show like the one we had today where I don’t get to fight to the bitter end.”
Faber is a relentlessly tough dude, which makes the fact that Barao was able to drop him that much more impressive. So where does the former WEC boss go from here, after taking a huge title fight on three weeks notice? Well, it’s back to the grind at Team Alpha Male for Faber, and don’t be at all surprised if he is fighting for a title again soon.
“Again, it’s not a situation where I can ask for an immediate rematch or anything like that, so I’m just going to get back on the horse…and work my way towards being champion again.”
Its good to see that Faber is looking forward, and I’m sure we will get to see him holding a UFC belt one day.