For Urijah Faber to finally achieve his goal, he had to withstand a game effort from Frankie Saenz Saturday night at UFC 194.
Faber, who appeared to have Saenz finished a number of times, did just that in the featured prelim bout, scoring a decision victory.
The win got the 36-year-old Faber (33-8) back on track after a May decision loss to Frankie Edgar. He is now 4-2 over his last six. For Saenz, the loss snapped a seven-fight win streak and was his first loss inside the Octagon.
“What a warrior,” Faber said. “We wrestled at the same time, so I knew it would be a war. You don’t mess around with Div. I wrestlers.”
Now, “The California Kid” will sit and watch as T.J. Dillashaw defends his bantamweight belt vs. Dominick Cruz in January. Faber and Dillashaw have seen their broken friendship get played out in public, while his rivalry with Cruz dates back years.
“I am glad I got that win, it was a tough fight,” he said. “I am coming after that belt. A great story is being made about the good guy winning, and that’s me.”