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Maggie Hendricks

Urijah Faber follies: Ups and downs of 'The California Kid'

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Urijah Faber is starting a new chapter in his storied MMA career tonight as he takes on Takeya Mizugaki in Faber's first bout at bantamweight. The 10-lb. weight difference for the former featherweight champ will allow him to take on a different breed of fighter as he, like the rest of the WEC, transitions to the UFC.

Mt. Streak: Faber started off his career by going 21-1. His one loss was to UFC lightweight Tyson Griffin at Gladiator Challenge in 2005. He picked up the WEC title at WEC 19 with a win over Cole Escovedo. As champion, he had wins over Dominick Cruz, Jeff Curran and Jens Pulver, among others.

Valley of the Upset: Faber seemed unstoppable, until he met a truck named Mike Brown at WEC 36 in Hollywood, Fla. Brown TKOed Faber, taking the belt away from "The California Kid."

Rematch Hill: In their first bout, Faber and Pulver put on a five-round war. In the rematch, Faber ended things much more quickly. Using his lethal guillotine, Faber choked out Pulver in just 1:34.

Rematch Valley: With the win over Pulver, Faber earned another shot at Brown and the belt. The result did not change, but Faber's losing performance reminded fans that he is one of the toughest fighters in MMA. Faber injured both hands early in the fight, but continued on with the bout, losing the decision.

RNC Hill: Seven months after the loss to Brown, a fully healed Faber took on Raphael Assuncao. In the third round, he ground and pounded Assuncao then took his back for a rear naked choke that earned him the submission of the night.

Valley of the Bruised Leg: The win over Assuncao earned Faber one more bite at the featherweight title. This time, he faced off against Jose Aldo, a fighter with devastating speed and kicks. Aldo battered Faber's legs to the point where he had to helped to his corner between rounds. Aldo won the decision, but Faber showed again his lack of ability to quit.

That last fight led Faber to reevaluate his place in the featherweight division, and then move to the 135 lbers. Do you expect his bout with Takeya Mizugaki to be a hill or a valley?

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