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LAS VEGAS, Nev. Darrell Armstrong Jersey . - Urijah (The California Kid) Faber finds himself in an unaccustomed position Saturday night at UFC 175 — on the preliminary card. Faber, a former WEC champion who has challenged for a UFC championship belt three times, has never lost a non-title bout and was in the main event last time out at UFC 169. But the 35-year-old bantamweight from Sacramento, currently ranked second among 135-pound contenders, find himself topping the televised preliminaries before the pay-per-view portion of the show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Middleweight champion Chris Weidman meets former light-heavyweight title-holder Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida of Brazil in the main event while womens bantamweight champion (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey takes on Alexis Davis, a native of Port Colborne, Ont., who fights out of San Jose. Faber faces No. 12 Alex (Bruce Leroy) Caceres in a fight where a win means much more to the up-and-coming Caceres than the veteran Faber. Having an established star like Faber (30-7) lead into the pay-per-view is good for the UFC. Faber has no complaints, knowing the prelim finale will draw plenty of viewers on free TV. A canny businessman, Faber understands the value of keeping his brand in the spotlight. "I feel great," said the five-foot-six fighter with a megawatt smile and dimple in his chin. "Its kind of a strange thing. Ive gotten to the point now where Im one of the veterans of the sport. "Ive had the same lifestyle since I was a little kid — basically do your homework, hang out with your buddies and play your sports. So Im living the same life. To be the crafty old veteran at this point is kind of funny. ... Im 35 now and feeling as fresh as a daisy, ready to rock and roll. Its good position to be in." The matchup was apparently triggered by a fan on social media. The 26-year-old Caceres took up the cause and Faber accepted the bout when the UFC offered it. "Its smart to want to fight me," said Faber. "I mean, the guy doesnt have anything to lose. Im one of the bigger names in the sport." But as UFC president Dana White often says, be careful of what you wish for. Faber is a 15-1 favourite to put Caceres in his place, in the eyes of some oddsmakers. Rather than titles, Faber talks about being the best fighter he can be these days. But he believes the two can come together, even if the championship belt currently belongs to teammate T.J. Dillashaw. "I feel like I still havent had my best performance," Faber said. "When I do, I feel like Ill be the champion." Caceres (10-5 with one no contest) has won four of his last five fights. It could have been five straight but his split decision win over Kyung Ho Kang in March was changed to a no contest after he tested positive for marijuana. That earned him a six-month suspension. Faber is coming off a second defeat at the hands of Brazils Renan Barao, who lost his bantamweight title to Dillashaw one fight later. "I dont like to dwell on such," Faber said of his loss. "As soon as that one was over, it was on to the next one, I cant really change the past, It was really unfortunate because I definitely had more fight in me. Im a guy thats known for being able to push through adversity. I didnt get a chance to show that. It could have been one of my greatest fights ... So its onto the next one. Ill make this next one my greatest fight." Barao knocked Faber out in the first round at UFC 169 in February what some — including White — thought was a premature stoppage. Faber was getting the worst of it on the ground, but gave referee Herb Dean a thumbs up to show he was still on top of things. Dean missed the gesture and stepped in to stop the fight. Barao, filling in for the injured Dominick Cruz, won a five-round decision over Faber at UFC 149 in Calgary in July 2012 to win the interim bantamweight title. Faber suffered a broken rib early in the fight. A former featherweight champion in the WEC, Faber was the longtime face of MMAs lighter weight classes. But he lost his 145-pound crown to Mike Brown in November 2008 and was beaten in a rematch seven months later. After dropping an April 2010 decision to champion Jose Aldo, who had dethroned Brown, Faber dropped down to 135 pounds. He has gone 7-3 since (6-3 in the UFC) with wins over Takeya Mizugaki, Eddie Wineland, Brian Bowles, Canadian Ivan Menjivar, Scott Jorgensen, Iuri Alcantara and Michael McDonald and title losses to Dominick Cruz and Barao. Faber, who made his pro debut in November 2003, may have slipped down the bantamweight mountain slightly but he remains active. Saturday marks his sixth fight in a little more than 16 months. "Im pumped to be back," he said. Dillashaw winning the bantamweight title has changed the 135-pound landscape. Especially since the two train together as part of Team Alpha Male at Fabers gym. "I couldnt be more excited about that," Faber said of the Dillashaw win. "It was a big deal for our team and for myself, a guy that I helped bring up. "People have asked about us fighting and I dont really want to do that." Faber talks of "exciting fights," citing Cruz, Barao and Kid Yamamoto. "Just keep winning and putting out my best performance." But he doesnt rule out a Dillashaw clash. "If it comes to a point where we need to cross that bridge, its going to be a discussion that he and I are going to have to have with our bosses Dana and Lorenzo (UFC president Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Feritta)." Cruz, who has not fought since October 2011 and had to give up his title due to his knee injury layoff, will have problems getting his championship belt back, according to Faber. "I dont think hell do very well against T.J.," said Faber. The California Kid speaks warmly about Caceres, citing his recent win streak and positive if somewhat quirky outlook on life. "I kind of like the guy. But Im going to beat the crap out of him." Away from the cage, Faber has proved to be one of the more successful fighter-entrepreneurs. A graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he was a standout wrestler when not working on a degree in human development, is on his second clothing company (Torque), has written a book ("The Laws of the Rings") and has had several other business ventures, usually drawing in family and friends to help. In addition to his Ultimate Fitness gym in Sacramento, Faber also has a private gym on the California coast. A new project, in conjunction with photographer Sam Hon, is Optical Panacea which combines the imagery of a background photo with a series of action shots in MMA and other sports. Faber is also involved in the MMA Draft combine, which serves as a showcase for amateur athletes who want to get into fighting. The many ribbons to his bow may explain why Faber has no plans to follow Randy (The Natural) Couture and fight into his 40s. "I have no desire to do that," he said. "But could I? Of course I could, if I put my mind to it. But I dont think thats the plan for me" NOTES — Faber will have veteran fighter Martin (The Hitman) Kampmann in his corner as coach. Former coach Duane (Bang) Ludwig is taking advantage of his successful run at Team Alpha Male to open his own gym. Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Josh Magette Jersey . Brazilian striker Brandao opened the scoring with a header in the 55th minute before winger Franck Tabanou volleyed home from close range to double the lead in the 61st. Drew Gooden Jersey .C. -- After turning Tobacco Road into "Raleigh Top," Tennessee is headed to the round of 16. OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry found other ways to contribute when his shooting skills let him down a bit. Curry had career highs of 16 assists and 13 rebounds to go with 14 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 115-86 Friday night for their fourth straight victory. "Its very weird," Curry said. "Coming in to help the bigs I was able to snag a lot of rebounds early. Ive never really done that at any level." Curry set the tone for the Warriors largest margin of victory since a 31-point win over the depleted Los Angeles Lakers on opening night. "He was spectacular," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "I love the way he competed. It was impressive the way he ran the team and kept his foot on the gas pedal." Curry said it was Golden States most complete game of the season. "We didnt have any lapses," he said. "This is something we envisioned at the beginning of the season when we were all healthy." Klay Thompson scored 21 points and David Lee added 17 for the Warriors, who matched their longest winning streak of the season. Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green had 11 apiece. "It was good to get one of these wins," Lee said. "Phoenix is ahead of us in the standings. I love the way our team is playing." P.J. Tucker had 11 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Suns, who had won three straight and eight of nine. "It was total breakdown on everything," coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Thats the first egg that weve laid for the season. Youre going to have those games every once in a while. They really attacked us and we were slow to everything." Curry, who played 1 minute of the fourth quarter, had a rough shooting night and made just one of six 3-point attempts. He more than made up for it with his passing and rebounding for his third career triple-double. His 16 assists were the most by a Warriors player since Tim Hardaway had 19 on Jan. 8, 1990. "He did an unbelievable job," Lee said. "I thought he was having a deecent night, but I didnt realize how good until I looked up and saw the numbers. Jameer Nelson Jersey. " The Suns missed their final six shots of the first half, allowing the Warriors to open a 59-40 advantage heading into the break. Lee, who added seven rebounds, had his consecutive double-double streak end at 10 games. Andrew Bogut was held to six rebounds, ending his career-best streak of 10-plus rebounds at 10 games. The Warriors opened a double-digit lead in the second quarter and were never seriously threatened after that. "Their guards did a great job," Hornacek said. "Obviously, Curry with the triple-double. Hes got a great feel for the game. Even Klay Thompson got in a lot of foul trouble and still ends up shooting 9 for 11. They did a nice job." The Suns, who last played Monday, scored at least 100 points in each of their previous eight games and were looking for their longest road winning streak in nearly three years. Instead, they were handed their worst defeat of the season. "I dont know what it was," Suns guard Eric Bledsoe said. "We were just a step slow to everything they did. They were a step faster than us and we paid the price." The Suns were held to season lows in field goal percentage (.360) and 3-point percentage (.174). The game was tied at 10 midway through the first quarter. The Warriors never trailed after Curry hit a 3-pointer with 7:44 left in the period, and took a 28-22 lead into the second. NOTES: The Warriors held an opponent under 40 per cent shooting for the 13th time, second only to the Indiana Pacers. ... The Suns were 1 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half after making 29 of their previous 62. ... The Warriors have won their first game after Christmas the past eight years and 12 of 13 overall. ... The Suns fell to 7-2 on Fridays. ... The Suns had made at least seven 3-pointers in each of the past 19 games, a franchise record. ... The Warriors had a 22-10 advantage in fast-break points. The Suns entered the game as the NBA leader, averaging 19. ' ' '
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