Benavidez talks Fabiano, Faber

Joseph Benavidez discussed his upcoming fight with Wagney Fabiano, as well as teammate Urijah Faber’s drop to the bantamweight division with Nate Lawson of

Following his disappointing, yet narrow split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz at WEC 50, Joseph Benavidez was looking to take some time off.

The 135lbs contender had just faced the top bantamweight on the planet, former champion Miguel Torres, and submission ace Rani Yahya all within one year. You could say he deserved a break.

However, when the WEC came calling for the Team Alpha male product to step in for former champion Brian Bowles against Wagnney Fabiano at this month’s WEC 52, Benavidez did not have to think long about cutting his time away from the cage short.

“When the fight came up with Wagnney Fabiano, it was kind of a no brainer,” Benavidez told HeavyMMA today. “I was definitely looking to fight before the end of the year. You know, definitely wanted to get in that third fight of the year. I had already taken some time off, and it’s kind of hard man. I’m just a fighter and when someone offers me a fight, it’s always something I want to do. I’m always training and it always feels like the right decision for me.”

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Fabar the key to Bantamweight success in UFC?

That’s what Jeremy Botter of writes:

Next Thursday night, long-time WEC poster boy Urijah Faber will make his bantamweight debut against Takeya Mizugaki.

If “The California Kid” comes away with a win, he’ll make an even more important debut in early 2011.
By beating Mizugaki, Faber would set up a second meeting current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. The two met a handful of years ago when Cruz challenged for Faber’s featherweight title; the loss remains the sole blemish on the current champion’s resume. With all due respect to Cruz, Faber is the 135-pound fighter who holds the key to solidifying the WEC divisions as viable pieces of the puzzle.

Faber is one of the few stars to crossover from the WEC who have the pre-established stardom to help deliver the lighter weight-classes to the new audience in the UFC. The leader of Team Alpha Male is already a known quantity in the business, and while he’s lost three of his last five fights, the move down to the 135-pound division could be the kind of career renaissance that return Faber to the pound-for-pound rankings he called home for quite some time.

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