Urijah Faber wants to play spoiler

Urijah Faber. (THEARON W. HENDERSON/Getty Images/AFP file photo)

Urijah Faber. (THEARON W. HENDERSON/Getty Images/AFP file photo)

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

All good things come to an end and Urijah Faber fully intends on playing spoiler to the man who boasts MMA’s longest win streak.

“I think the thing that he has going for him is the confidence of coming off 29 wins,” says Faber of Renan Barao — the man he will face in next weekend’s UFC 149 main event.

“But that long streak is going to end and I’m the one that’s going to do it.”

The former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champ — who now fights as a bantamweight — has been parachuted into the injury-plagued Calgary card.

He was originally slated to fight champ Dominick Cruz for the belt following the pair’s appearance as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

But when an injury left Cruz unable to defend his belt, an interim title was put up and Barao was called in to fight Faber.

Cruz and Faber each have one win over the other and the rubber match was expected to put an end to their war.

But with Cruz out and Barao in, Faber says Cruz hardly crosses his mind.

“I’m not thinking about Dominick at all,” says Faber.

“I couldn’t care less about Dominick Cruz. The only time I think about him is when I have to and right now I don’t have to. So I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”

The winner of the Faber-Barao fight will battle Cruz once he’s healthy to unify the belts.

Faber says the man he is now facing comes with a unique set of challenges.

“I’d say Renan is very well-rounded,” says Faber, 33, who is 26-5 as a pro.

“Standing, he’s got really good hands. He’s slower than Dominick and less tricky than Dominick and the thing that’s really going to be something to watch out for is his high knees and leg kicks. He trains with Jose Aldo.”

The 30-1 Barao also has strong grappling skills, says Faber.

“For me, he’s got great wrestling for a Brazilian fighter,” says Faber.

“He doesn’t lack in wrestling but I feel I’m better. He doesn’t lack in speed, but I think I’m faster. He’s going to be strong and I think I’m going to be stronger. I’ll be aware of the weapons he has but ready to outclass him in every way.”

As far as putting on a show in the main event, Faber says he has no concerns.

“I don’t feel pressure. I know I’m going to deliver,” says Faber.

“I’ve never had a dull fight in my life. I’ve watched Barao and he’s the type of fighter that always has an exciting fight. We’re going to go in there and try to take each other out from the get-go. I really feel that this has potential to be fight of the year.”

UFC 149 — originally set as a featherweight belt bout between champ Aldo and Erik Koch — goes July 21 and is available on pay-per-view.

THE FABER FILE

BORN: Urijah Christopher Faber, May 14, 1979

RECORD: 26-5

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: in 2004, he was both King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge bantamweight champ. He was WEC Featherweight champ from March 17, 2006 until Nov. 5, 2008

RANK: Ranked #2 bantamweight in the world by most MMA media.

STRENGTHS: Wrestling, cardio, submission skills

NOTABLE VICTORIES: Defeated Dominick Cruz, Jens Pulver, Eddie Wineland and Brian Bowles.

QUOTE: “I’m really getting to the peak of my abilities. I’m getting better and better over the years. I’m comfortable everywhere.”

ON THE CARD

Strikeforce Rockhold vs Kennedy goes July 14 from Portland, Ore., and features champ Luke Rockhold fighting Tim Kennedy for the middleweight belt. Nate Marquardt will also face Tyron Woodley for the vacant welterweight belt. The fight is available on Showtime.

UFC 149 goes July 21 from Calgary and features a interim bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao. It is available on pay-per-view.

UFC on FOX 4 goes Aug. 4 and features Mauricio (Shogun) Rua taking on Brandon Vera as well as Ryan Bader facing Lyoto Machida. The event is available on FOX.


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