If you watched TUF Live last week, you know by now that Urijah Faber will be meeting Renan Barao for the UFC interim bantamweight title at UFC 148 on July 7th. But even right up until the announcement, Faber was all sorts of confused about who he’d actually be facing. Faber told Pro MMA Radio that Dana White ‘basically lied to him’ and that he was given the distinct impression that he’d be rematching Ivan Menjivar (the two met in a 2006 bout in the TKO promotion, where Menjivar lost by disqualification due to an illegal kick). Here’s what he had to say (transcribed by MMA Mania):
“I had first assumed it was going to be Barao, or McDonald or Menjivar and Barao was my first prediction. I started getting tape on him as soon as I found out about Dominick. This was a couple of weeks ago. Then, when Dana came in to do the announcement, I asked him if there were any hints or insights on who it would be and he was saying ‘Oh, you wouldn’t believe what all had gone down, how McDonald broke his hand and Barao didn’t want to leave Brazil, to leave Aldo’s side, because Aldo was training’ and all this crazy stuff, so I didn’t know for awhile.
Then like two days before the thing, I had text Dana and he was basically lying to me, saying it was gonna be Menjivar. For like two days I thought I might be fighting Menjivar. Then the day of the announcement, I was like ‘Are you sure it’s not Barao?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah.’ But I had a feeling that it was. Then Dana apologized right before he announced it, for basically lying, which is kinda weird, I thought, because Barao was there. I don’t care who I fight, I told Dana I wouldn’t say anything anyway, if he was thinking I might spoil the surprise, or what the deal was.”
The whole thing sounds really odd. Faber’s a company man and it seems pretty obvious that he wouldn’t tell anyone who his opponent was going to be if he found out a little while before everyone else. Was Dana really lying to him? Or was it just crossed wires? Either way, Menjivar is now meeting Mike Easton on the card and Faber has a date with Barao.
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