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Urijah Faber: I’m the moat around the castle for King T.J. Dillashaw; I’m OK with that

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UFC bantamweight competitor Urijah Faber discusses his team’s expectations this weekend in Brazil, including Chad Mendes’ title fight rematch against Jose Aldo.

Although not scheduled to compete this weekend, Urijah Faber is in Brazil to help his teammates Chad Mendes and Andre Fili, both of whom will be representing Team Alpha Male inside the octagon.

Mendes, in particular, is the main focus this Saturday night at UFC 179, as he prepares to meet UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo for the second time in his professional career.

"We are expecting some great fight and some big wins," Faber told members of the media in a pre-fight scrum. "This is a rematch for Chad and Aldo. To see Chad improve to get to where he is at and win his fights, it is big for me. I think we are going to see a whole different fight."

In their first encounter several years ago, Aldo knocked Mendes out with a spinning knee in the opening round of the fight. Although Faber is aware of the risk that Mendes faces this time around, he believes that his intense preparation will factor into the fight, and will bring about a more level playing field.

"Just be prepared for a battle. No matter what Aldo does, this is not going to be an easy fight. Be prepared for a real war. There are some specific things to watch out for. Jose loves to throw those leg kicks and is very explosive. Chad will be prepared for what we know Chad can do, and I'll just leave it at that.

"We can't control the outcome but we've taken control of everything we can prepare."

While his focus is on his teammate this week in Brazil, Faber also discussed the reasons why he accepted a fight against Francesco Rivera - a fighter well outside the Top 10 in the bantamweight division.

"This guy is very tough. He comes with heavy punches, he's got a great record and is a skilled guy, so I'm looking forward to a pretty tough fight.

"I've fought most of the Top 10. I'm kind of like the moat around the castle right now for T.J., who is sitting as the king. I'm OK with that."