UFC 157 preview: Urijah Faber rematches Ivan Menjivar in bantamweight scrap

Urijah Faber, Ivan Menjivar, UFC 157The UFC 157 PPV portion of the card will feature a bantamweight scrap between former WEC champion Urijah Faber and well traveled MMA veteran Ivan Menjivar. The two actually fought one another way back in 2006 with the bout ending with a win for Faber due to an illegal kick to a downed opponent from Menjivar. Both fighters have improved since that time so let’s see who’ll come out on top Saturday night.

Ivan Menjivar (25-9) comes into this fight off his submission win over Azamat Gashimov at UFC 154 in November 2012. Menjivar is a crafty veteran who has gone (3-1) in the UFC since the WEC/UFC merger. The lone loss was as close decision loss against Mike Easton in July 2012. Menjiar has won two ‘Submission of the Night’ awards in his UFC stint and has 10 submission wins to his credit overall with nine wins via TKO/KO. He’s a very durable fighter that has spent a large portion of his career fighting much larger opponents and has only been finished twice in his career.

Urijah¬† Faber (26-6) comes into this fight off the unanimous decision loss to Renan Barao at UFC 149 in July 2012. That bout was for the UFC interim bantamweight title with Dominick Cruz being out of action for so long with his knee injury. Faber has gone (2-2) in the UFC since the WEC/UFC merger, and just never seems to be able to get over the hump against the number one ranked guys in his weight class. He has 14 wins via submission and seven wins via TKO/KO. He has been finished via TKO/KO twice in his career. Faber is a well rounded martial artist that excels in scramble situations, and has improved his striking quite a bit over the years after being primarily a wrestler adept at submissions early on. He doesn’t have any glaring flaws in his game and is a tough out for anybody.

Faber is a large betting favorite coming into this fight at over -300 on most betting sites with Menjivar being a large betting underdog.

The fight will likely be all over the place from striking to scrambling after takedown attempts, which fits perfectly into what Faber does best. Menjivar has a crafty style that allows him to escape tons of damage, but Faber will have about a five inch reach advantage when it comes to striking. Faber is usually the more aggressive fighter when it comes to offense as Menjivar likes to look for counter-strikes and is quick to look for submissions if he’s taken down. I think Faber will look to keep this fight on the feet and try to use his speed/quickness to win the exchanges on the feet. Menjivar does come with an unorthodox approach which makes it difficult to be in an exciting fight with him striking wise.

I think the fight will be closer than the betting odds suggest, but Faber will more than likely walk around with a unanimous decision win in this one.

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