Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 | 3:45 p.m.
Urijah Faber vacationed in Mexico and got up to nearly 160 pounds as he lounged during a designated downtime at the end of last year.
The California Kid has barely spent a moment resting since then. Grueling training began almost as soon as the relaxing getaway ended when an injury to Dominick Cruz catapulted Faber into a short-notice title fight.
Faber was back to his working weight of 134.5 pounds Friday evening at the Prudential Center, making his bantamweight championship bout against Renan Baro (135) official at the UFC 169 weigh-in. Faber never considered turning down the opportunity, no matter how daunting, because of his aspirations to win a championship and avenge a loss to Barao, who defeated him by unanimous decision in July 2012.
“The difference is I’m going to win this time,” Faber said after stepping off the scale. “I’m extremely excited, and I’m ready for a real war. I’m going to do anything in my power to make this happen.”
All 12 bouts on the annual Super Bowl card, including the featherweight championship co-main event between Jose Aldo (145) and Ricardo Lamas (144.5), are a go after every fighter made weight ahead of the event. There was one close call on the main card, as Brazilian flyweight John Lineker (127) initially missed by one pound, before the New Jersey State Athletic Commission granted him a second attempt an hour later.
Lineker got a dose of the boisterous crowds typical for sporting events in the area, as he was overwhelmed with boos while nothing but a towel covered him on the scale. It would have marked the third straight fight Lineker missed weight, so the fans had a reason for their displeasure.
Although he’s a longtime fan favorite, Faber heard some jeers, too. A few people in the half-full stands were not approving of one part of his wardrobe — Ugg boats.
“What are you wearing?” a fan yelled. “Are you serious?”
The fluffy footwear didn’t appear to soften Faber, as he walked toward Barao and nearly put his forehead into his opponent’s during the customary staredown photo.
The top bantamweights in the world shook hands and embraced after breaking the pose.
“I hope to knock him out,” Barao said through a translator. “I’m here to fight one of the best in the world, and I’m here to win.”
Faber predictably received a warmer welcome than Barao but didn’t get the loudest reaction. That went to Aldo, who sprinted onto the stage in more traditional tennis shoes as fans clamored and waved Brazilian flags.
Heavyweights Frank Mir (256.5) and Alistair Overeem (257) were also among the most popular as the two mainstays each came in double what the two fighters before them, Lineker and Ali Bagautinov (126), weighed.
After Lineker dealt with the boos, he also got subtlety taunted by his opponent as Bagautinov wore a T-shirt pertaining to his nickname.
“Tomorrow, you will feel what ‘Hands of Stone’ really means,” it read.
Message likely not received, as Lineker doesn’t know English. The weigh-in went on otherwise without incident, as UFC President Dana White only had to separate two fighters — lightweights John Makdessi (155) and Alan (155) who shook hands after making contact during the staredown.
Check below for full results from the UFC 169 weigh-in.
Bantamweight championship bout: Renan Barao (135) vs. Urijah Faber (134.5)
Featherweight championship bout: Jose Aldo (145) vs. Ricardo Lamas (144.5)
Heavyweight bout: Frank Mir (256.5) vs. Alistair Overeem (257)
Flyweight bout: John Lineker (126) vs. Ali Bagautinov (126)
Lightweight bout: Jamie Varner (156) vs. Abel Trujillo (155.5)
Lightweight bout: John Makdessi (155) vs. Alan Patrick (155)
Flyweight bout: Chris Cariaso (125) vs. Danny Martinez (125.5)
Middleweight bout: Nick Catone (185.5) vs. Tom Watson (185.5)
Lightweight bout: Al Iaquinta (155) vs. Kevin Lee (155.5)
Middleweight bout: Clint Hester (185.5) vs. Andy Enz (184.5)
Lightweight bout: Tony Martin (155.5) vs. Rashid Magomedov (155)
Welterweight bout: Gasan Umalatov (170) vs. Neil Magny (170.5)