UFC 194 ||Urijah Faber outlasts Frankie Saenz in tough battle of wills

Las Vegas, NV- Urijah Faber had to earn his latest victory against a very game Frankie Saenz at UFC 194.

UFC 194 was held on December 12, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Saenz took place on the preliminary portion of the event.

The pace was high at the start.  Faber landed the first notable shot of the fight by going to Saenz’s body.  Saenz almost got caught in Faber’s patented guillotine when he went for a takedown, but quickly got wise to the attempt and disengaged.  Faber went for a takedown of his own, but almost ended up on his own back.  Saenz landed a good leg kick that tripped Faber, but “The California Kid” was up quickly.  He scored a decent knee in the clinch, but Saenz landed one of his own right after.  Faber was the faster and more technical on the feet, but Saenz was holding his own, even landing a nice uppercut at one point.  Faber was doing good work with punches to the body and mixing in takedown attempts that were keeping Saenz honest.  Saenz defended the takedowns, though, showing off his own wrestling skills.  He had a few moments of his own in the first round, but Faber looked to have taken it.

Faber rocked Saenz badly within the first 30 seconds of the 2nd stanza.  Saenz stumbled backwards to the cage and had to endure a huge flurry from Faber, who was looking to end the fight.  Faber scored a nice throw and landed in a crucifix position, but Saenz survived and rolled Faber over.  Urijah stood up, but still had Saenz on his back.  He tried a switch against the cage that failed, but he was able to disengage from Saenz and go back to the center.  Saenz landed a nice inside leg kick, but he was starting to gas. Faber couldn’t immediately capitalize, though, and kept taking leg kicks.  Saenz wsa showing a tremendous amount of determination.  Faber caught a leg kick and tired to take it to the mat, but Saenz would have one of it and landed a nice knee before breaking away.  Saenz seemed to have recovered at this point and was giving Faber trouble right before the bell sounded.  It was a close round, but the near finish likely secured it for Faber.

Going into the 3rd, the pace was still high.  Both men were fighting on the outside and darting in from with offense.  Saenz was able to press Faber against the cage around the 3:30 mark and dropped to go for a takedown, but couldn’t pull it.  The fight went back to the center, where Faber tried a takedown of his own that failed.  Saenz was slowing down, but he wouldn’t stop pushing as hard as possible.  It was clear he wanted to make a statement in this fight.  Faber was trying to time him on the way in, though, and eventually started finding success with his jab.  Saenz was having trouble getting past it and overextended himself, allowing Faber to take him down with around 1 minute left to fight.  Saenz stood about 30 seconds later, but couldn’t get the finish he was looking for.  and ended up getting taken down again. He tried a leg lock, but ran out of time.  Both men displayed great effort in this bout.

It wasn’t as clear cut as many expected it would be, but Faber was declared the winner with scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.

Faber improved his overall record to 33-8 and snapped Frankie Saenz’s 7-fight win streak, leaving him at 11-3.


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