UFC bantamweight Ivan Menjivar (29-5) has been fighting for more than a decade and only been finished twice in 34 total tilts with one coming at the hands of welterweight king Georges St-Pierre in the champ’s professional debut. He’s also picked up wins in four of his last five fights including a first-frame finish in his most recent rumble.
While the 30-year old’s resume is certainly impressive, his adversary at UFC 157 is no slouch either when it comes to past accomplishments. Urijah Faber (26-6) is a former WEC title-holder and considered to be one of the toughest tests in MMA under 155 pounds. And, in the opinion of Faber, he also happens to be a little bit better than Menjivar at every facet of the game.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Menjivar. He’s a real pioneer. People say I’m a pioneer in this sport and he is more so than I am. He was a guy who was extremely well-rounded back in 2002 when he fought Georges St-Pierre. He was taking St-Pierre down. I thought it was an even fight and a really weird stoppage. He fought Matt Serra. He’s fought at 155 pounds, he’s fought at 170 pounds. He’s always had a real high skill set. I know he’s a force to be reckoned with,” said Faber in an interview with the UFC’s website, making it clear his confidence is a product of dismissing Menjivar’s in-ring abilities.
“I feel like he’s a great style match-up for me because he is the type of guy who likes to fight everywhere and that’s how I like to fight,” Faber explained. “He likes fighting on the ground, mixing it up, and he likes getting wild. My toughest fights have been against guys who are really athletic and are kind of avoiding a wild fight. Renan Barao, he really slowed the pace down and kept distance. Jose Aldo, he picked me apart by kicking my leg and he’s an incredible technician when it comes to that specifically. I’ve been developing and filling in those gaps and Ivan likes to fight everywhere. He’s dangerous on the ground, but I’m very dangerous on the ground. I’ve got a lot of finishes against a lot of opponents who have never been submitted. I feel like this fight for me is a great fight because Ivan is not afraid and likes to go everywhere and I think I’m going to have a slight advantage in every aspect.”
Like Menjivar, Faber has only been finished twice in his career while scoring stoppages against the bulk of the foes he’s beaten. Fans can catch the two talented 135ers face off on the PPV portion of Saturday night’s card shortly after things kick off at 10:00 PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC