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UFC 139 Fight Card Breakdown: Urijah Faber Vs. Brian Bowles

A comprehensive break-down, preview, and analysis of UFC 139's bantamweight bout between Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles. "Kid" Nate makes his prediction for the winner.

Photo by Esther Lin for <a href="" target="new">MMA Fighting</a>.
Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.

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.

UFC 139 Results | Dan Henderson Interview | Weigh-In Results

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.

Aspect Faber  Points Bowles Advantage
Range Fighting

Boxing Ever Improving Power Bomber Bowles
Kickboxing Very Good Quite Good Faber
Wrestling Excellent 1 Very Good Faber
Clinch Fighting        
Dirty Boxing Effective 1 Dangerous Tie
Thai Clinch Quite Good 1 Good Faber
Throws/Trips Excellent 1 Very Good Faber
Ground Fighting

Positional Control Excellent 1 Very Good Faber
Ground and Pound Very Good 1 Hurts Bowles
Submissions Excellent 1 Very Good Faber
Conditioning Excellent 1 Excellent Tie
Intangibles The California Kid 1 Nice Guys Finish Last Faber
Overall Title Shot Bound 7/3 Next Time Faber