“WEC: Faber vs. Mizugaki” Preview: Faber’s New Home (1 Viewer)



“WEC: Faber vs. Mizugaki” Preview: Faber’s New Home

<p><img style="float: left;" src="http://www.mmaspot.net/images/uploads/image/article images/Faber,Urijah.png" alt="" width="275" height="202" />After finally realizing that the featherweight waters may just be too deep for him, World Extreme Cagefighting mega-star Urijah Faber has stepped into immediate contention within the 135-pound bantamweight division. The former WEC featherweight champion will be facing another fighter who has championship experience: former bantamweight title challenger Takeya Mizugaki. <br /><br />The tough and wily Mizugaki will be the perfect test for Faber, and it may just be a win impressive enough for him to earn an opportunity to become first-ever UFC bantamweight champion. <br /><br />Although a victory seems all but a foregone conclusion for Faber fans, Mizugaki is no push-over. After compiling a solid 11-2-2 record in Japan, the well-rounded fighter signed with the WEC and immediately got a shot at then-champion Miguel Torres based on his five-fight win streak. <br /><br />Both fighters were battered a bruised in the fight, but Mizugaki never backed down from the seemingly unbeatable champion as he refused to be finished. Mizugaki lost the fight, but he gained many fans in the process after putting on a fight that was a solid candidate for 2009 fight of the year. <br /><br />Mizugaki has since gone 2-1 in the WEC, splitting decision wins over Jeff Curran and Rani Yahya with a decision loss to current top contender Scott Jorgensen. <br /><br /><img style="float: right;" src="http://www.mmaspot.net/images/uploads/event_posters/WEC Faber vs Mizugaki banner.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="139" />Faber, the longtime poster boy for all things WEC, lost three of his last five fights at featherweight and dropped to bantamweight looking to add a spark to his declining career. Just as Rich Franklin decided that middleweight was no longer for him after losing twice to division kingpin Anderson Silva, Faber made the decision to drop in weight after two losses to former champ Mike Brown and a thorough beating at the hands of prodigy Jose Aldo in April. <br /><br />While he has not ruled out possibly making a return to 145 pounds, Faber will most likely be best suited in his new division, with new challenges, and a potential future superfight with bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Now the only thing standing in his way is a tough-as-nails Japanese foe by the name of Mizugaki.<br /><br /><strong><span style="color: #ff0000;"><em>Vazquez, Mendes Break Out Of Shells With War Of Words<br /></em></span></strong><br /><img style="float: left;" src="http://www.mmaspot.net/images/uploads/mendes,_chad_med.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="168" />Two fighters not really known for trashing talking, featherweight contenders Javier Vazquez and Chad Mendes have taken to the media with a war of words that could propel the winner of their co-main event bout into a title shot when the featherweights are dumped into the UFC in 2011. Both fighters have sellable back stories &ndash; Vazquez a veteran of the rogue &ldquo;ultimate fighting&rdquo; days who brings a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and tons of experience to the cage, and Mendes a Faber prot&eacute;g&eacute; who is part of the new breed of amateur wrestlers in MMA &ndash; and the UFC marketing machine could do wonders with a Latino and a future title shot in hand (Cain Velasquez anybody?). <br /><br />What remains to be seen is how the actual fight will play out. Both fighters would rather this fight take place on the mat, but that could also mean that fans will be &ldquo;awarded&rdquo; with a sloppy kickboxing match, if both think their ground skills cancel out. Mendes, however, hasn&rsquo;t shown any signs of wanting to stand in any of his fights thus far, regardless of his opponent&rsquo;s grappling credentials. There has been talk of him eating black belts for breakfast, which likely means that he plans to be in wrestling mode come fight night. Vazquez also isn&rsquo;t likely to be afraid of a ground battle. This fight has the potential to be a late entry for fight of the year. <br /><br /><strong><em><span style="color: #ff0000;">Benavidez, Fabiano Battle For Contention<br /></span></em></strong><br /><img style="float: right;" src="http://www.mmaspot.net/uploads/image.php?id=38C3_4CDAF254" alt="" width="250" height="188" />Third billing in the WEC&rsquo;s penultimate event goes to a fight fan&rsquo;s dream with a battle between bantamweights Joseph Benavidez and Wagnney Fabiano. Benavidez is undefeated against fighters not named Dominick Cruz. He begins his rebuilding process once again, to prove that he deserves another shot at bantamweight gold. While his ultimate home may be in an as-yet nonexistent flyweight division, Benavidez has taken to throwing down with bigger opponents while staying in title contention at 135 pounds. That beatdown of former champion Miguel Torres seems but a distant memory after his second consecutive loss to Cruz, but Benavidez is a force to be reckoned with due to his legitimate wrestling credentials, coupled with top-level punching power. <br /><br />Fabiano has had trouble climbing the championship ladders and getting a public relations push after coming to the WEC as a highly touted former IFL champion, but his new home at bantamweight seems to suit him well, and a title shot seems to be drawing ever closer. The decorated jiu-jitsu fighter has to prove that he&rsquo;s not afraid to throw his hands, and a bout with a wrestler like Benavidez may be just what the doctor ordered for fans of the Brazilian. <br /><br />Faber may be blocking the winner&rsquo;s title shot here, but a matchup with a top three fighter awaits the victor.</p>

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