Alex Caceres wanted to start facing elite competition, and he’ll get the chance to either sink or swim this weekend at UFC 175 when he faces three-time bantamweight title challenger Urijah Faber. Caceres is coming off an impressive submission victory over talented prospect Sergio Pettis at UFC on FOX 10, while Faber is in bounce-back mode after his title loss at UFC 169 against former champ Renan Barao.
”Bruce Leeroy” certainly isn’t lacking in confidence thanks to his current five-fight unbeaten streak that has vaulted him into a current no. 11 ranking in the 135-pound division. However, Faber will easily be the most formidable challenge that he’s ever faced. The 26-year old Caceres has produced a 5-3 UFC record with one no-contest, and hasn’t faced anywhere near the level of competition that Faber has.
Caceres has recorded seven finishes in 10 career victories and has a highly unorthodox and unpredictable fighting style. He showed plenty of resolve in his come-from-behind win against Pettis that produced Submission and Fight of the Night bonuses. Caceres firmly believes he’s ready for the major jump in competition and gets the chance to test himself against one of the best in Faber.
Faber has been a longstanding fan favourite who has carved out a solid career pedigree during highly successful stints in the WEC and UFC. His only Octagon defeats have come in championship fights against Barao and Dominick Cruz. “The California Kid” is 6-3 in his UFC career, and has impressive submission victories against Michael McDonald, Scott Jorgensen and Ivan Menjivar.
The former WEC featherweight champion has an impressive 30-7 record with 24 of those victories coming by way of knockout or submission. He owns other notable victories over Eddie Wineland, Takeya Mizugaki, Raphael Assuncao and Cruz. He continues to remain a key player in the bantamweight division, holding down the current no. 2 ranking.
This should be an interesting matchup in Las Vegas. Caceres is a fighter on the rise, looking for a breakthrough performance against a seasoned and skilled veteran. Faber is looking to rebound and send a clear message to his younger opponent that he asked for too much, too soon.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports