UFC 157: Faber vs. Menjivar Saturday, February 23 – 11:00 p.m. ET
Honda Center – Anaheim, CA
Urijah Faber (26-6) vs. Ivan Menjivar (25-9) Bantamweight bout
Line: Faber -370, Menjivar +280
Coming off a loss to Renan Barao for the interim UFC bantamweight belt, Urijah Faber is heavily favored against Ivan Menjivar for the duo’s bout on UFC 157’s main card Saturday in Anaheim.
This is a major step up in class for Menjivar, who is coming off a win against Azamat Gashimov. The win was an impressive submission, but he has yet to fight somebody of championship caliber. Faber, on the other hand, has regularly fought the best in this division, with two losses in his past three fights for the belt, to Barao and Dominick Cruz. In between those, he earned an impressive submission against the talented Brian Bowles. Although Menjivar has showed promise, he has given no indication he can beat a fighter of this caliber. Take FABER as the heavy favorite.
Faber is among the best submission artists in the sport, winning that way in 14 of his 26 career victories. His strategy is to earn a takedown and end the fight right then and there with his quick hands. But he can also just outfight people for three full rounds and win via decision, something he showed against Eddie Wineland before losing to Cruz. Although he has a number of losses sprinkled in lately, it’s only because he's been going toe-to-toe with the top fighters in this weight class. He should be able to make quick work of this unheralded foe.
Menjivar has won four of five since signing with UFC, but has done so against largely no-name opponents. Two of those wins were submissions, and the one loss was a decision at the hands of Mike Easton, who got a unanimous vote from the judges. His strong Jiu-Jitsu skills make him a threat for a submission at any point, but strikes make up the majority of his attacks, setting up those final plays. But doing so will be difficult against a talented defender such as Faber, in a fight that looks to be nearly impossible for Menjivar to win. It should be good experience, however, if he can be competitive and begin to make a name for himself on the big stage.