Urijah Faber Had Torn Hamstring & Bruised Knee Heading Into UFC 169; Could Barely Walk


There’s been a significant amount of controversy surrounding UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao’s questionable TKO stoppage over Urijah Faber at last weekend’s UFC 169 main event.

Many thought that Faber, despite being noticeably rocked and damaged, was still coherent enough to warrant the fight being allowed to continue. However, referee Herb Dean had seen enough and decided to stop it.

Always classy, Faber never threw Dean under the bus after the stoppage, although he did note he felt he could have easily fought on. That speculation has prompted talk of a potential third fight between Barao and Faber, something that Team Alpha Male head coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig speculated on earlier this week.

Today, however, news has surfaced of a different nature. Faber’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Incorporated, spoke up to MMA Junkie to detail that Faber’s camp was far from an optimal preparation for the surging Brazilian champion.

Indeed, after fighting Michael McDonald at UFC on FOX 9 last December 14, Faber had his back against the wall in attempting to prepare for one of the world’s best mixed martial artists on merely three weeks notice:

“All he did for those three weeks was he sparred once and got hurt and hit mitts for the rest of the three weeks. That’s a great workout, but the only way you get your timing down is through sparring.”

Roberts may appear to be diverting attention away form Barao’s impressive performance, but there’s no doubt that it would have been nearly impossible to beat a champion like Barao while injured and without proper training. Roberts continued on about ‘The California Kid’s’ ailments and his willingness to fight on despite them:

“We took him in and got an MRI, and they said it was a bruised ligament in his knee, so he could barely walk. In the meantime, when he was doing mitts and running around, he tore his hamstring. (He) got an MRI, and there was a slight tear in his hamstring.

Urijah’s whole thing is about opportunity. You don’t pass up opportunity, because there’s no guarantee you’re ever going to get that call again.”

Faber is definitely not one to pass up an opportunity of that magnitude, even if he was hurt and ill prepared to face a fighter who may have the most momentum in all of MMA. Roberts went on to say that Faber is taking some much-needed time off after losing his sixth straight title bout, and hasn’t even considered a rematch with Barao at this point.

With a few mildly serious injuries hobbling his performance at UFC 169, we may not have seen the best version of Faber. Still, even that may not have been enough to beat the bulldozing Barao.

What do you make of Roberts’ comments? Is he merely downplaying his fighter’s one-sided loss, or are Faber’s injuries a legitimate cause for him to get one last crack at the belt?

Photo: Joe Camporeale for USA TODAY Sports

  • I'm so tired of excuses… if you're injured, stay the fuck out of the octagon. If you choose to fight anyway, keep your mouth shut and keep it moving!

    • I think that if Barao beats your ass, there isn't an excuse you can make that would have changed that.

    • " Exactly True " Yet people think I'm hating on Faber..

    • Faber did keep his mouth shut. Faber didn't make a single excuse.

      • Faber is a class act. I'll give him that much.

    • Sorry are you talking to Faber? I didn't get that vibe from him. Faber took this type of loss better than anyone I have ever heard or seen.

  • Ivy

    Exactly! If you're injured, going up against a world champion who has already beat you once, you are only giving him the upper hand in the fight, and you ought to know better. Lesser fighters than Uriah have pulled out of fights for the same reason.

  • Everyone who does martial arts has some body issues, if you train regularly. BJJ guys often have shitty lower backs or disc issues in general, the boxing guys f.E. always have crap with their hands. You get the idea.

    I bet, that there is not one single pro fighter who goes 100% healthy into a fight. There is always something, small or serious. No need to act like Tito Ortiz did when a fight is over.

    • Was Urijah talking here?

      • I said act, not talk.

        • What did he act like?

          • ffs, falcon…In the post fight conference he mentioned his injuries when he was just asked about the short notice, a thing Tito or Frank Mir loved to bring up out of nowhere, except Tito really made excuses. With Urijah saying it and his camp later blasting the decision, it comes off as one excuse. Just look at some statements on here, what badly timed impression that creates.

            Otherwise he's classy as usual and not as disappointed about that one unfortunate loss as you seem to be.

          • He was actually asked about injuries and all he did was be honest, should he have lied? He never brought up the injuries.

          • One journalist asked Urijah about stepping in and if he felt enough prepared on that short notice. That. Was. It. I just re-watched that conference only to give you the exact quote where he brought it up:

            "You took the fight on short notice. Did you feel that had any impact at all. Did you feel as sharp and fresh as in the previous fights?" @19.30 min mark. "Fresh" refers to being rested/balanced/hydrated. "Sharp" refers to his state of training peak. Nobody even knew up to this point that he fought injured.

            First Urijah answered how crappy the previous training camp for Mcdonald was. Then while talking about having an eight days notice he suddenly brought up the injuries [ knee, hamstring] and procedures these took [hyper chamber, no sparring]. And that he felt great on that day, that he is a form believer of taking opportunities and so on.

            I'm done here, cause you'll probably even be nagging and twisting the exact quote i just gave you.

          • You realize when they ask if he felt sharp and fresh as previous fights that would have to include injuries sustained and issues that he had while training. He was unable to spar properly due to injuries. Simple.

          • There is a proverb in my country, which perfectly describes your way to "discuss" things:

            "Einbildung ist auch eine Bildung."

            What a waste of time….

  • I think you guys are a little harsh. He took the fight on 3 weeks notice. Also we complain a lot about the guys that pull out. We can't have it both ways. He took the fight injured with 3 weeks to train. I don't see this as an excuse, he's just talking about the situation. The early stoppage means there'll be a "III" eventually anyway.

    • ps. I think that photo would be a great one to use in the next meme contest.

      "So Urijah…you've had too much to drink and, no, she doesn't want to go home with you"

    • Barao would want the rematch too.

  • D

    If he was really injured that badly, this was a terribly stupid career move. He was going to get that title shot within the year anyway. Now he is 0 – 2 vs. Barao, and early stoppage or not, he got finished in the first round. He's a 34 year old now who is probably at least a couple years away from a title shot, IF he can ever get back there, which rising young talent may prevent.