MMA fans in California got a bit of welcome news this week when it was announced popular area product Urijah Faber will return to his old stomping ground for his next bout in a pairing befitting of the Golden State’s nickname.
According to the UFC, the former 145-pound champ will face Brian Bowles, a bantamweight belt-holder in WEC, at UFC 139. It is believed the event will take place in San Jose on November 19 with a headlining heavyweight title-fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
“Before a possible trilogy can be considered between Faber and his rival, Dominick Cruz, he will take on one of the division’s truly elite fighters,” explained promotional head Dana White. “A win over Faber would be massive for Bowles’ bid to challenge for the belt that was once his. The stakes are high and the fight will be intense.”
Both men fought earlier this month at UFC 132 with differing results, as “The California Kid” lost a Unanimous Decision to Cruz while 10-1 Bowles outpointed Takeya Mizugaki in preliminary action. The win was the second in a row for Bowles after losing his gold at WEC 47 due to an injury-related stoppage. Among his ten total victories are finishes against Marcos Galvao, Damacio Page, and Miguel Torres.
Faber has gone 2-1 since dropping to 135 pounds but holds a number of notable victories from his time in WEC including success against Jens Pulver, Raphael Assuncao, and Jeff Curran, as well as in his original 2007 match-up with Cruz. He holds an overall record of 25-5 with thirteen submissions and seven TKOs.
While Velasquez vs. Dos Santos is rumored for the show, the only other officially announced fight for UFC 139 features TUF 8’s Tom Lawlor taking on undefeated middleweight sensation Chris Weidman.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC