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Watch the highlight films of Jose Aldo knocking guys out and scrambling their brains and you soon come to the realization that a platoon of armed Navy SEALS couldn't do as much damage to a person as the World Extreme Cagefighting's featherweight champion.
He's deadly with the knees, dangerous with his feet and devastating with his hands.
He's fast, he's strong and he's lethal.
I mentioned to Urijah Faber the other day that Aldo is pretty good and that, well, most of the people I've spoken to are giving him zero chance to win on Saturday in their featherweight title fight in the main event of WEC 48 at ARCO Arena.
Faber, who turns 30 next month, chuckles.
He's not afraid and he's not offended. He's heard it before.
And when he tries to explain why he'll actually show up and not run for the hills, he actually quotes a movie to explain his point: "Dumb and Dumber".
In the scene that inspires Faber, Jim Carrey's character, Lloyd Christmas, is talking to Lauren Holly's character, Mary Swanson, about becoming her boyfriend.
Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together?
Mary: Well, Lloyd, that's difficult to say. I mean, we don't really …
Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like one out of a million.
After a brief pause to let that register – 1 million to 1 against – Lloyd gets excited.
Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance. Yeah!
It doesn't matter to Faber if the rest of the world doesn't think he has a chance to defeat Aldo and regain the title. It doesn't bother him if experts from far and wide believe he'll need help to leave his hometown arena.
He's got a chance and he's going to go after it.
"He's a fabulous fighter and there is merit to all the credit he's getting," Faber said. "I'm impressed by him. But his vulnerability is that I'm the better fighter."
Faber is 23-3 and on most nights, he's been the better man. Actually, on most nights, he's been the far better man.
He's only lost to two men, once to Tyson Griffin and twice to Mike Brown, one of whom is a lightweight and the other of whom used to be.
In the second Brown fight, Faber broke two bones in his right hand, which later required surgery to repair, and dislocated the thumb on his left hand. He injured the right hand in the first and the left hand in the third.
It would have been easy for him to quit.
Heck, it may have been smart for him to throw in the towel, since a fighter's hands are invaluable to him.
No one would have blamed him if he had. He could have taken the loss, explained the injuries and come back later for another shot.
"Yeah, I could have quit," Faber said, chuckling. "But it never crossed my mind. I don't know why. I was in there fighting for my life. It was frustrating, of course, fighting a guy like that and having to get through it without my most important tools, but things happen in life. I just had to find a way."
And so he resorted to firing elbows at Brown from close range instead of trying to use his hands.
Brown would soon wise to it and would keep himself at a distance where he couldn't be hurt by an elbow, but Faber had to keep going because, well, just like Lloyd in "Dumb and Dumber", he might not have had a good shot, but he had a shot and that was all that mattered.
Faber lost, but he left the cage that night with the respect of anyone who saw him fight.
"This sport, you never know what is going to happen," Faber said. "Too much crazy [stuff] could happen. But the one thing I know, and that I think anyone who is going to fight me knows, is that you'll get the best of what I have that night and I'm going to keep coming and keep fighting and keep trying to find a way to win."
People know that and it's why Faber has become one of the best draws outside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He's like the second major league sports franchise in Sacramento, alongside the NBA's Kings. Put him in a fight at ARCO and open the arena and you almost always can start planning how you're going to spend the money, because you pretty much know you'll get a sellout.
It's no coincidence that Faber is headlining in the first WEC show on pay-per-view.
"People in Sacramento love this kid," UFC president Dana White said. "They've seen him for years and they know that he brings it every time. Urijah Faber is never in a bad fight and people know that."
Faber has long been the standard by which other featherweights are judged. But in the last year, the star has been dimmed a bit by the two losses to Brown.
Experts aren't giving Faber much of a shot.
But if we've learned anything about mixed martial arts over the years, it's that no one is invincible and that the seemingly unbeatable fighter occasionally gets beaten.
Have no doubt, Jose Aldo is a beast. He's ranked No. 6 in the Yahoo! Sports pound-for-pound rankings and he's on a nine-fight winning streak. He's justifiably earned comparisons to the pre-UFC 112 version of Anderson Silva.
He's the favorite on Saturday and deservedly so.
Urijah Faber, though, just like Lloyd Christmas in "Dumb and Dumber", has a shot.
That's all he asks.
He's got his shot and don't be shocked if he pulls it off.
- Urijah Faber
- Dumb and Dumber