By Luke Thomas – Senior Editor
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Mar 9, 2012 – Urijah Faber is aware there’s a lot on the line as he prepares to coach against Dominick Cruz in the upcoming season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. As he inches closer to what is arguably his last real opportunity at a UFC title, Faber’s fighting career – and how it will be judged when he’s done competing – feels impossible to consider beyond his strained relationship to his top rival.
Faber, however, rejects the idea his rivalry with Cruz is the defining issue of his career. The questions surrounding his rivalry are necessary conditions of the show and his career right now, but they are not sufficient by themselves. Faber’s got more on his mind. Can the bantamweights carry the most important show in MMA and the subsequent pay-per-view where the coaches will fight? Will they be able to honor the live format with strong coaching? How can they navigate reality television without presenting a cheap facsimile of their true personality?
In this interview with MMA Fighting, Faber makes his case for why performance against Cruz does not define his career, what he views as coaching best practices, how he plans to adapt his camp to the reality show’s needs, why the Dakota Cochrane situation is ‘weird’, and why this reality show is all a part of his plan to live a life of fulfillment and fun.
Full audio and partial transcription below: