Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday afternoon to repair two badly broken bones in his right hand, the fighter told SI.com.
Plates and screws will help reassemble a hand damaged when a punch connected to the top of WEC champion Mike Thomas Brown's head late in the opening round, the first of five grueling periods the pair shared Sunday evening in Sacramento, Calif.
Faber also dislocated the thumb on his left hand, severely limiting his offense against the physical Brown. He was unsure if the injured thumb would require surgery and a pin, but hoped it would not so he could avoid wearing casts on both arms at the same time.
"I couldn't grapple or anything," said Faber, whose record fell to 22-3 following a bout that saw him forgo punching for a variety of elbow and knee attacks. Working in the clinch and finishing submissions proved especially difficult since he couldn't lock hands.
Raised in a holistic lifestyle, Faber declined pain medication once he was hospitalized: "It didn't hurt that bad," he said. Doctors told the 30-year-old former UC Davis wrestler it will be eight to 10 weeks before he can "even think of punching again" with the hand that was broken for the first time. "The California Kid" is currently resting at his home in Sacramento awaiting surgery.
"It was good to show what my heart's about," said Faber, who held the WEC belt for 2 1/2 years before Brown dethroned him last November. "I think people will give me some respect out of that. I would been pretty upset if I hadn't finished that fight, which would have been easy to do because I could really feel my bones crunching together in there."