Urijah Faber put on his most impressive UFC performance to date in a dominant second-round submission victory over Brian Bowles in a match-up of former WEC titleholders at UFC 139.
Powered by a partisan crowd, Faber pushed the pace the entire fight and never let Bowles get comfortable or set. In the fight's opening round, Faber stalked Bowles, landing several uppercuts and then backing away before there could be an answer. Late in the first, he ducked under a Bowles strike attempt and took him down. Bowles defended well, but Faber (26-5) ended the round in a dominant position and easily took a 10-9 round.
Faber's uppercut would lead to the end of Bowles in the early part of the second round as the "California Kid" threw one that hurt Bowles badly. Bowles (10-2) staggered back and ate a big knee that brought him to the mat. Faber swarmed with right hands and threw a knee to the body, followed by more right hands and a big elbow that opened Bowles up for a guillotine choke and tap at 1:27 of the round.
Both men threw 69 punches in the fight with Faber landing 44 compared to Bowles' 14. Faber earned $70,000 for Submission Of The Night.
What was the highlight of the fight?
While it's tempting to go with the finish, the uppercut that began the chain of despair for Bowles stands out as did the soul-crushing knee to the body Faber connected with during the sequence. If you're a Faber fan, the entire fight was a highlight for you.
What's next for these guys?
The win gave Faber his second shot at the UFC Bantamweight title and his third tilt with rival Dominick Cruz, likely in the spring of 2012. I was among those groaning a bit that Faber was being given another opportunity so quickly, but there's simply not a lot of other money-drawing options and Faber does earn the shots when the opportunity is given. However, his last four losses have all come in title fights. Can he break the streak against Cruz?
Bowles needs to erase this fight from his memory as he was outclassed at every step of the game. Two men also coming off recent losses -- Jeff Curran and Johnny Eduardo -- could make good next opponents for Bowles although the UFC may look to pair him with someone less experienced.
Watch now, later or never?
Watch it now. This is how a big-timer gets it done on the main stage.
More BE coverage of UFC 139 in the full entry
UFC 139 Results: FightMetric Scores Shogun vs. Henderson a Draw - Tim Burke
UFC 139 Results: The Resurgence Of Stephan Bonnar - Josh Nason
UFC 139 Results: Urijah Faber Earns Title Shot, Possible TUF Slot Against Dominick Cruz - Anton Tabuena
UFC 139 Shogun vs Henderson Results: Winners, Losers, and Other Thoughts - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Becomes the Ultimate Persuader - Leland Roling
UFC 139 Video: Full Post-Fight Press Conference Video For Shogun vs Henderson - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson vs Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Fight Video Highlights - Leland Roling
UFC 139: Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Results and Post-Fight Analysis - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 139 Post-Fight Press Conference Coverage - Tim Burke
Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 102: UFC 139 Results Review - Matt Bishop
UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson Wins Decisions Over Shogun Rua In An Absolute Classic - Matt Roth
UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - Live Results and Play-By-Play for PPV Broadcast - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 139 Results: Wanderlei Silva Knocks Out Cung Le In The Second Round - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Urijah Faber Chokes Brian Bowles Out With A Guillotine - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Martin Kampmann Edges Rick Story with Split Decision Victory - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Stephan Bonnar Dominates Kyle Kingsbury To Unanimous Decision - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Ryan Bader Knocks Out Jason Brilz In The First - Matt Roth
UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - Live Results and Play-By-Play for Spike TV Broadcast - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 139 Results: Michael McDonald Knocks Alex Soto Out In The First Round - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Chris Weidman Sinks In D'arce Choke to Beat Tom Lawlor - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Gleison Tibau Wins Split Decision Over Rafael dos Anjos - Matt Roth
UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson - Live Results and Play-By-Play for Facebook Stream - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 139 Results: Miguel Torres Puts On A Clinic Against Nick Pace - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Seth Baczynski Finishes Matt Brown Early In The Second - Matt Roth
UFC 139 Results: Danny Castillo Finishes Shamar Bailey With Punches - Matt Roth