On September 10, 2005 a future champion would rise in the morning and that very day taste defeat for the first time in his fighting career.
After his first lesson in failure this man embarked on a journey. He took his first step away from that loss and after three years of combat, he never looked back.
After the misstep this man rattled off 13 straight victories. He won the WEC Featherweight title and defended it staunchly for two years.
In a turbulent world filled with uncertainty and lacking in guarantees, he forged his path. His path in life took him all the way to the status of an icon in the fastest growing sport in the world.
That path was paved with his blood sweat and tears.
The sport of MMA has rarely seen a talent like Urijah Faber. He is unique in many ways, as a person, as a fighter, as a talent, as an icon. His hard work earned him the respect of both his fellow fighters, and his fans.
He dominated his division in a fashion that rivals if not trumps the greatest fighters this sport has ever known.
Three years removed from that fateful loss, having endured the agony of defeat only once, and unfamiliar with its sting, Urijah Faber stepped into an octagon with the WEC Featherweight belt firmly attached around his waist.
On December 2, 2005 a little less than three months after Fabers first loss, another fighter was about to lose and also hunt down a phenomenal win streak there after.
This loss would be the last of another fighters career to begin a streak of nine straight victories. Now this man claims to have not tasted defeat since that fateful December day.
Mike Brown would blaze a path towards greatness that would entail him chasing something he felt belonged to him. The goal not yet making itself clear.
He fought among multiple promotions, traveling the world to stake his claim as an elite featherweight fighter. All the while not realizing the path that would be opened before him.
In 2008 Brown fought for the first time in the WEC, a place he now calls home. With the record he carried combined with his dispatching of featherweight contender Jeff Curran, Brown earned his chance at greatness.
Behind him a trail blazon in his most hard fought efforts, and before him the chance at greatness. Greatness unlike he had ever encountered.
Three years removed from his most recent loss, Mike Brown stepped into an octagon. Across the mat from him stood his chance, his opportunity, his belt.
A short, concise, definitive battle took place.
Once the battle ensued, it took little time for Brown to impose his fight on Faber. Brown imposed a pace and a rhythm that was too much for for the WEC champ.
Faber in his unique style began to attack in an unorthodox fashion, leaving the slightest opening for Brown to extend his own and end Faber’s unbelievable run in devastating fashion.
The result of the fight had a huge impact on the division. The outcome was not one many had predicted. The result has left the door open for a highly anticipated rematch.
That rematch comes this very weekend. The time has come to see, was Faber having a bad night, or was Brown the rightful owner of the top spot in the division? Questions will be answered and created by what will happen this Sunday.
A very intriguing aspect of this fight lies in a Faber win. For a lesser known organization like the WEC, nothing could be better than a Faber victory.
If Brown wins, then he proves he belongs. He proves his victory was one of substance, and righteousness. It was supposed to be that way. Yet it closes the door on a fascinating story line.
If Faber wins, it raises the question, was Brown lucky before, did Faber just stutter step, was this a fluke ? Or did Brown lose this fight for some inexplicable reason?
It also brings the utter inevitability of a trilogy. Ahhhh, the trilogy. One of the greatest, most unique aspects of rivalries in the sport of MMA.
One man alone, one super talent can dominate until the end of time. Another man, on another path can do the same.
When those two men meet and challenge their hearts, minds, and bodies against each other, it proves entertaining.
If two such men meet more than once and find that they split the tab one and one, the question burns brighter and louder. Who is better?
Two men, on opposite paths, both claiming a victory over the other. Two men, who have already challenged their hearts, minds, and bodies against each other with no definitive answer, that may very well prove to be without equal.
While there are no guarantees, no odds that can tell the outcome. The fans of MMA can only secretly hope for a Faber win this Sunday evening.
Not for loyalty but for the sake of a trilogy, for the guarantee that two of the best featherweight fighters they have ever known will fight not just twice but three times.
One man alone can be great, but two great men challenging each other repeatedly can be classic, timeless, historic, epic. An example may be Couture vs Lidell. In the boxing world Ward vs Gatti. Trilogies are instant classics.
These two men are the types to bring that home for the fans. No wishes of loss or defeat for either fighter, but if a Faber win happens, it will be but yet another turn in a great story of two elite fighters destined to become legends both individually and as a duo.
Tags: Mike Brown, Urijah Faber, WEC