SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Bantamweight opponents Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles face off after weighing in during the UFC 139 Weigh In at the HP Pavilion on November 18, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
At UFC 139: Henderson vs. Rua, two former WEC champions meet as Urijah Faber (25-5; 1-1 UFC) faces Brian Bowles (10-1; 2-0 UFC). This is a Bantamweight fight, and may determine the next challenger to champion Dominick Cruz. Both men are ranked highly in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings with Bowles at #3 and Faber right behind him at #4. The PPV card airs on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
Interesting WEC clash here between two former champions of that organization. Faber was the WEC poster-boy for many years, ruling over their Featherweight division. Bowles is a relative newcomer, but scored a huge win in 2009 when he unseated Miguel Torres as Bantamweight champion, ending Torres's remarkable 17 fight win streak. Since those championship runs, Faber and Bowles have lost to a common opponent - Dominick Cruz. Each man is looking for a rematch, and each has unfinished business with Cruz. For Faber, he's 1-1 with the champion and will look to close out their series, while Bowles suffered an injury against Cruz that brought their fight to a premature ending. Winner here will likely get their shot at that redemption.
How do these two stack up?
Faber: 32 years old | 5'6" | 69" reach Bowles: 31 years old | 5'7" | 70.5" reach
At one time, The California Kid sported an incredible 21-1 record. But after dropping his Featherweight belt to Mike Brown, he's had trouble finding consistency. Faber is 4-4 in his last 8, with all 4 of those loses coming in title shots. After falling to Jose Aldo in the only WEC PPV, Faber dropped down to Bantamweight, where he is 2-1 and coming off a loss to Cruz this summer. Faber trains with a number of top talents, including #1 contender at Featherweight Chad Mendes, at California's Team Alpha Male.
Bowles has only been fighting for a little over 5 years, but has already faced many of the world's best. He came to the WEC in only his 4th pro fight, and went 7-0 before upsetting Torres and becoming the WEC Bantamweight champion. His first defense was the loss to Cruz, and a hand injury in that fight kept him out of action for a year. When he returned, it was to the UFC, where he is 2-0. Bowles is a very complete fighter, with an excellent guillotine and real knockout power.
Why should you care?
This is a very tough fight to pick between two dynamic and well rounded fighters. I'm thrilled it's being featured so prominently on the card, as these two absolutely deserve that recognition. This is an easy Fight of the Night candidate, and a possible #1 contender fight as well - watch it.
More UFC 139 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.