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Urijah Faber Interview: Former WEC Champion, Current UFC Title Contender

Urijah Faber is 25-5 and coming off a loss to Dominick Cruz in the first bantamweight title fight in UFC history. He’s currently promoting the UFC Personal Trainer video game (Which I have a copy to play and review at some point. I’m just super busy right now.) and through the magic of public relations, I got to talk to former 6-time WEC featherweight champion of the world.

SD: You’re about a month past your title fight with Dominick Cruz, looking back, do you think you won?

Urijah Faber: Um, I  know I didn’t win. I could have won that, but I can’t really say that I won for sure. I feel like it could have gone either way. I knocked him down three times in three different rounds. I don’t feel his take downs really had any effect on me. Most of them didn’t really seem like take downs to me, but he did land quite a few punches so he did his part also so I’ll get him next time.

SD: UFC 139 is in November in San Jose. Are you official for that card?

UF: I am official and it’s against Brian Bowels. Another tough guy, a former champion, and I’m looking forward to it, man.

SD: It’s still a few months away, but looking forward, how do you see the fight playing out?

UF: I just think I’m going to win and I feel like Brian is really good at everything, but I’m a little bit better at everything. I’m going to be bigger and faster. My jiu jitsu’s going to be better. My ground game is going to be better and I can win stand up also.

SD: At this point in the process, what are your days like?

UF: My days are busy. I’ve been traveling a lot and staying in shape. You know, I don’t ever get out of shape. Wherever I’m at I get my workouts in and just have fun. That’s why I do this. So I can live a lifestyle and right now and can do what I love. Right now I’m traveling all over the US and the world. I’ll be back and get my training camp going about 10 or 12 weeks out.

SD: Is there any major difference in your life now that you’re a UFC fighter instead of a WEC fighter?

UF: I wouldn’t say any real major differences. The only real thing is not having to explain to people the difference. There’s definitely more notoriety. I was already pretty well-known in the sport just for a guy that wasn’t fighting in the UFC, but it’s nice to have everybody understand that I fight for one of the biggest organizations in the world and not have to explain myself.

SD: Do you feel like you might be the biggest star athlete celebrity in Sacramento?

UF: Oh, I have no idea. I don’t really pay any attention to that stuff. We’ve got the Kings, we’ve got the Mountain Lions, Schwarzenegger flies in on a helicopter and he’s got me beat. I don’t know. I’d have to check that out. I’m pretty out there. I’ve been around the Sacramento area my whole life.

SD: At this point in your career, what would you consider the highlight?

UF: The highlight will be in the near future when I get that UFC belt. There’s been a lot of highlights along the way. I’ve got my first fight against Jens Pulver. My first fight in Arco Arena in front of my home crowd. Doing the Countdown show and something like that was cool.

SD: What would you  be doing if you weren’t a fighter?

UF: I’d be filthy rich, man. Doing something. I’d be good at it, but I don’t know what it would be. I’d probably be some sort of teacher and have some sort of small business.

SD: At what point in your training camp do you decide if you’re going to go with the cornrows or not?

UF: It really depends on the length of my hair. If my hair is getting on my nerves when I train and touching my eyes, then I have to go with the cornrows.

SD: When you were with the WEC, you were already one of the most visible fighters and doing advertisements. Now you’re doing the UFC Training Game and working with K-Swiss. What’s it like working with Danny McBride?

UF: Man, that guy’s a crack up. Just a lot of fun. It’s hard not to laugh the whole time. Danny McBride and his partner Jody Hill are always cracking jokes. A lot of that is just improv. They’re really funny in cool.

SD: Do you think you have a future in acting?

UF: I don’t know. I was just on that show Leverage on TNT and I used to do some acting when I was really young. It’s always been kind of a draw for me to move in that direction. I’ve been fighting it though. We’ll see what happens. Maybe if something happens in the future, I’m not opposed to it. I’m sure I could do OK. My focus is on getting that UFC belt. We’ll see what happens.

SD: What’s the process of working with the video game through it’s development and then actually using it when its done?

UF: I’ve been real lucky to get an inside look at this game from a long time before and I get to represent it. It’s pretty incredible. There’s so many different exercises and they’re kind of simulating so many things that we do in the gym anyway. It’s incredible the way they put these programs together. Go out and get it. We have a lot of our top trainers in there like Mark Dellagrotte, Greg Jackson, Javier Mendes. Fighters too. I’m in there and some other guys. It’s been a real cool thing to see it evolve. And using it is really helpful. There’s a lot of different ways that fighters can use it especially with injuries and travel schedules. It’s really neat. It’s crazy how they did it.

Faber’s next fight is at UFC 139 in November. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter and as soon as I check out the Personal Trainer game, I’ll let you know if I’m quitting blogging to start a mixed martial arts career.

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