Sun Mar 20 12:17am EDT
Eddie Wineland was supposed to be a nice showcase opportunity for Urijah Faber in his UFC debut. Instead, the 26-year-old made Faber work all 15 minutes. The former WEC featherweight champion, scored several takedowns in the final two rounds and was faster with his hands on the way to a unanimous decision victory, 29-28 on all three scorecards, at UFC 128 in Newark, N.J.
After the fight, Faber (25-4, 1-0 UFC) sent a message to UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz to get ready. Faber doesn't talk much trash but he's been very critical of Cruz, who he feels is way too cocky. They squared off in 2007 at 145 pounds. Faber scored a submission win with a guillotine choke at WEC 30.
Wineland (18-7, 0-1 UFC) was a lot tougher than most expected. He's big for the weight class and more than matched Faber in the clinch.
Faber's an excellent grappler with nasty takedowns, but he couldn't get Wineland off his feet in the opening round. Wineland used the clinch to avoid the whizzer attempts by Faber.
Faber began opening up on the feet in the second. There was a clear speed advantage. Holding his hands low, Faber was able to pick his spots. Wineland really offered very little back.
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