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UFC 157: Urijah Faber Finds Himself in a Must-Win Situation

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The window of opportunity is closing shut for Urijah Faber to win a UFC title.  One way for Faber to keep that window open a little longer would be to defeat his UFC 157 opponent, Ivan Menjivar.

Faber, the former WEC featherweight champion, is now 33 years old and has lost five straight MMA title fights. Faber’s career progression is now looking eerily similar to that of long-time UFC fighter Kenny Florian.  The now retired Florian lost three straight title fights in two separate weight classes.  After dropping down to featherweight and losing to Jose Aldo, Florian retired at the age of 35.

Yesterday, in an interview with Karyn Bryant, Faber tried to downplay the pressure he is facing for his upcoming fight against Menjivar.  “Everyone at this level is extremely tough and I take it all seriously, but I mean, this is what I love to do,” Faber said. “It’s all about winning and that’s what I am going to do.”

Faber, who is currently a -400 betting favorite over Menjivar, has been defeated by three current UFC title holders. If Faber gets past Menjivar, he will likely be back in the mix to face the winner of Renen Barao versus Dominick Cruz, both of whom Faber has lost to.  Assuming Faber gets that fight, it will likely be his last shot at a title.

The UFC rarely showcases trilogies in which one fighter has lost both of the first two fights.  As a result, this is likely Faber’s last run at a title.  If he wants to make the most of this last opportunity, he must defeat Menjivar on Feb. 23.