Bantamweights Urijah Faber (25-5) and Brian Bowles (10-1) face off in a top-contenders bout at UFC 139 in San Jose, CA tonight. The fight will be featured on the pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast of the event. Both Faber and Bowles were champions in the WEC before that organization was absorbed into the UFC.
Faber was the long-time featherweight (145 lbs) champ, he moved down to 135lbs to try to get a UFC belt. After picking up two wins in the division he dropped a 5 round decision to champ Dominick Cruz at UFC 132 in July. The UFC would love to rush him into another title fight as he's by far the biggest draw in the division.
Bowles took the WEC belt from long-time champ Miguel Torres in 2009 but lost it to Cruz in his first defense in 2010. After a long layoff to nurse a badly broken hand, he's gone 2-0 in the UFC. He's looking to KO Faber and get a title shot.
Faber has relied on his quickness and cat-like reflexes throughout his career. He's developed good standing technique but his bread and butter is using his wrestling to force wild scrambles on the ground where he can lock in a variety of submissions.
Bowles has a huge right hand but also has considerable submission acumen, having wracked up six wins by tap out. His wrestling is also very solid. He's stylistically conservative but has very sound fundamentals in all aspects of MMA.
This could be Faber's last stand as a title contender. He badly needs a win to reclaim his position as one of the biggest little men in the sport. Bowles is an excellent fighter, but Faber's got his back against the wall here. Look for Faber to get a submission or take a decision.
|Boxing||Ever Improving||2||Power Bomber||Bowles|
|Kickboxing||Very Good||1||Quite Good||Faber|
|Thai Clinch||Quite Good||1||Good||Faber|
|Positional Control||Excellent||1||Very Good||Faber|
|Ground and Pound||Very Good||1||Hurts||Bowles|
|Intangibles||The California Kid||1||Nice Guys Finish Last||Faber|
|Overall||Title Shot Bound||7/3||Next Time||Faber