It's like the wild west out there. With the move from the WEC to the UFC and key fighters changing weight classes, the race to get ahead at bantamweight and featherweight is on. The divisions are still pretty thin relative to their larger counterparts and title shots don't come very often. When the opportunity arises, you've got to seize it.
That was essentially the attitude of Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland, who lock horns in a bantamweigh bout at UFC 128. Both want a title shot against Dominick Cruz and both would welcome a coaching slot on the next season of Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter". To wit:
"I don't think so," Faber today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) when asked if he sees this fight as a qualifier for "TUF 14" coaching duties. "I don't know what those guys' criteria is for that, but they seem to change it up a lot, and I haven't heard anything at all. I feel like this is the shot to get a title shot, which is most important to me.
"The reality show thing would be great, but my focus is getting that belt."
"I'd love to coach on the show," he said. "I think that would put me out until about December. It would be a trade-off, of course, but it's a great marketing tool, and I think it would be an awesome experience.
But again, it depends on what those guys are thinking because I have zero say in it."
Wineland, a former WEC bantamweight champ, agreed with Faber about taking a coaching slot on "TUF."
"I want what he wants, and he wants what I want," he said. "What we both want is that belt. If the 'TUF 14' coach position arises in the midst of it, so be it. I'd be happy to do it. But right now, my focus is on Urijah and then that belt."
A Faber loss at UFC 128 would not suit well for what could be the first UFC fight to elevate the lighter weightclasses: Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz.