It might be Urijah Faber's last chance to win a championship while in the UFC, but if he's feeling any pressure, "the California Kid" isn't showing it. Faber appeared at the UFC 149 weigh-ins with his usual smile, six-pack and laid-back attitude.
The former WEC featherweight champ had no problem making weight for the interim bantamweight main event, hitting the 135-pound limit exactly in the weigh-ins held at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, the site of Saturday night's event. His opponent Renan Barao also nailed the same number.
"I'm just super excited, guys," Faber said. "I'm ready to put on a show. Canada, I'm happy to be here. Thanks for coming. Barao's tough, but he's not tougher than I am, so it's going to be a great fight."
Though he's considered an underdog by bettors, Faber was clearly the crowd favorite judging from the reception at his introduction.
While he's tasted gold before, Barao will be attempting to capture his first belt. Even if it is just the interim title, he sees it as a path to injured champion Dominick Cruz..
"I'm very happy to be here," Barao said. "I'm well trained, well prepared and you're going to see a good show on Saturday."
Barao has what is believed to be the longest unbeaten streak in current MMA with 29 straight fights without a defeat. Not far behind is UFC 149 co-headliner Hector Lombard, with a 25-fight unbeaten stretch.
Long considered one of the best middleweights in the world not fighting under the Zuffa banner, Lombard finally makes his promotional debut. The Cuban-born, Autralian transplant who now lives in the U.S. will face Tim Boetsch, who takes a half-pound advantage into their matchup.
Boetsch checked in first at 186, while the former Bellator champion Lombard was 185.5.
The night's lone heavyweight bout pits relative UFC newcomer Shawn Jordan attempting to make a name for himself off of octagon veteran Cheick Kongo. Jordan, the former Louisiana State University fullback, will be at a four-inch height disadvantage and eight-inch reach disadvantage, but he certainly has the bulk in the matchup. Jordan weighed in at 250 pounds, 19 more than Kongo.
Urijah Faber (135) vs. Renan Barao (135)
Hector Lombard (185.5) vs. Tim Boetsch (186)
Cheick Kongo (231) vs. Shawn Jordan (250)
Brian Ebersole (171) vs. James Head (170)
Chris Clements (170) vs. Matt Riddle (170.8)
Court McGee (185.5) vs. Nick Ring (185)
Roland Delorme (135) vs. Francisco Rivera (136)
Ryan Jimmo (205) vs. Anthony Perosh (205.5)
Bryan Caraway (135.5) vs. Mitch Gagnon (135)
Antonio Carvalho (145) vs. Daniel Pineda (145)
Mitch Clarke (155) vs. Anton Kuivanen (156)