Faber, 34, feels Herb Dean stopped the fight early, but he remained cool and collected when answering questions about the stoppage.
Dean called a stop to the bout at the 3:42 mark of the opening frame, after Barao battered Faber with strikes.
Faber was giving Dean a "thumbs up" to let him know that he wasn't in danger, but the ref felt that "The California Kid" was not intelligently defending himself.
“This is the sport we’re in,” Faber said. “It’s funny, Herb Dean was the referee when I lost my first fight against Tyson Griffin. I did like a cage-dive into a steel bar and I ended up getting seven staples in my head in the first eight seconds. I almost got knocked out like two or three times, and he let me fight through it all. You know?
“I’ve had wrestling matches where I’ve been dazed before and had to do four or five matches in the same day. So it’s unfortunate, being a guy that’s very tough that prides myself on that, in a big show like the one we had today where I don’t get to fight to the bitter end.”
As for UFC President Dana White, he said he believes Dean stopped the Barao vs Faber fight a bit too early.
“You know you’ve heard me up here a million times talk about Herb Dean -- I think he’s the best referee in the business,” White said following UFC 169. “He rarely ever makes mistakes, but he made a mistake tonight. Faber was blocking those shots, he gave the thumb’s up. You know, the guy’s the best in the business as far as I’m concerned. Tonight he made a mistake.”
Faber showed his class and professionalism by praising his opponent, rather than insulting the ref who stopped the fight a bit early.
"Barao is getting better and he caught me with a clean punch and went for the kill,” Faber said. “I don’t know how to defend myself, when you say intelligently defend yourself, pull on the leg, cover my head? If they’re asking me to defend myself and I’m already defending myself I had to do something, so I put my thumb up, but…it is what it is.
“Again, it’s not a situation where I can ask for an immediate rematch or anything like that, so I’m just going to get back on the horse…and work my way towards being champion again.”