Things could be a lot worse for Urijah Faber, that is for sure, but he has got to be frustrated. Faber took a short notice title fight and was bested by Renan Barao, again; this time in the first round. The fight was marred in controversy because there was an “early stoppage.” I agree that the stoppage was early, but mark my words, when Barao hit Faber with the shot that led to the end, Faber was out. He regained consciousness when he hit the mat, but for a second there Faber was out cold. It is a rough-shake for Faber, but the big question is “what to do with him?”
Faber has made it clear that he is the second best fighter in the Bantamweight division. He has not lost a fight in the UFC that was not a title-fight and went on an insane winning streak leading up to this fight. What to do with him? Make him the best gatekeeper in the division, for now. You think you can take out the champ? Here, fight Faber. He could also start taking catch weight bouts, which could be really exciting. I think Dana White would let Faber do that because he has competed at Featherweight before and could do it again.
It stinks because it is very likely that Faber will not get another title shot in the Bantamweight division. He needs to find a way to stay relevant and the best way for him to do that is to start taking fights in another division. Even if the move will not be permanent, the fans would tune in to see how other fighters stack up to Faber. No matter what he does, one thing is certain: he needs to make a divisional change to stay relevant.