The co-main event on the card at UFC 128 features a bantamweight showdown between former featherweight champion and entrepreneur Urijah Faber (24-4) as he takes on the hard charging livewire Eddie Wineland (18-6). The winner will get the next shot at current 135 lb. champion Dominic Cruz in addition to a rumored slot as coach on the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter".
Faber comes onto the big stage of the UFC after carrying the weight of the WEC on his shoulders for years. "The California Kid" put together a streak that saw him notch 13 consecutive victories before losing his title to American Top Team product Mike Brown. Faber bounced back from two losses to Brown by defeating Raphael Assuncao but a lopsided loss to 145 lb. phenom Jose Aldo prompted Faber to make the drop to bantamweight. In his 135 lb. debut Faber steam rolled the always game Takeya Mizugaki by way of a first round submission and appeared to be maintain his strength at the lighter weight. Few fighters in the world scramble as well as Faber and while his striking isn't as crisp as Wineland's, Faber will hold a distinct advantage in the grappling department.
While Urijah Faber will carry his promotional weight into the fight, Wineland comes in with momentum as he has put together four straight victories. Of the four, two were "Knockout of the Night" winning performances including a highlight reel slam finish of Ken Stone in his most recent outing. Wineland possesses solid wrestling skills but nothing close to the caliber that Faber brings to the table so Wineland's success will have to come from keeping Faber at bay. Wineland can match speed with Faber and if he can keep successfully counter Faber's unorthodox striking he has a great chance in this fight.