“I had a strange call from Dana [White] that threw out a scenario of fighting for the belt with TJ and I turned it down. I don’t turn down fights, it’s not my thing, but it would be kind of weird if I fought TJ at 135,” Faber told Submission Radio.
“It’s weird. I feel like, I don’t really feel like it was him pitching me. He goes, ‘Look, I know you think you’re fighting [Raphael] Assuncao, but what if I told you you’re going to be fighting TJ for the belt in here?’ And I was like, ‘ah man, that’d be kind of weird. I think I would rather just fight Assuncao.’ That was kind of the conversation. He goes ‘okay’ and then hung up,” explained Faber.
“It was probably a 24-second conversation. So I feel like he was having a bet on this, like a couple of people in the room. It was after he’d said we’d fight each other, which never really happened. We hadn’t had the conversation at all. So if TJ really wanted that fight and wanted me to fight him because it was going to be a huge pay day, and it was going to be the opportunity that put him over, and it’d be a great benefit to both of us, I would have that conversation, but it’d need to be with TJ kind of bringing that to me,” added “The California Kid.”
Faber is scheduled to face former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 65 in the Philippines on May 16. Prior to that fight being signed, he was expected to face Raphael Assuncao, but Assuncao was unable to accept the fight due to a slow-healing ankle injury. After his May showdown with Edgar, Faber wouldn’t mind taking on Conor McGregor in Ireland.
“If I could get another shot at 145 or even I feel like a fight with McGregor is a big fight right now. I’d do that in a heartbeat. If he wants to go to Ireland, I’ll be the heel in Ireland in front of 90,000 folks. Either way I’m good for anything. I’m just going to take it one fight at a time. I have a huge task in front of me. I’m fighting a legend and one of the top fighters pound-for-pound in the world in my opinion, Frankie Edgar, and I’m looking forward to that,” he said.
McGregor faces featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the UFC 189 main event on July 11 in Las Vegas. Since arriving in the organization two years ago, McGregor has risen through the ranks and become a superstar. Along the way, he’s been criticized for his trash talk and called out by every wrestler in the division, but Faber likes the fact that McGregor is just being himself.
“I like it. I like his fighting style. He’s got a great fighting style. We haven’t really seen him, especially with his grappling. His grappling seems pretty good though. I don’t know how he’d deal against a great wrestler, but he definitely has some great movement, some great stand-up, “said Faber.
“As far as personality goes, I think he’s a good guy. I don’t think he’s being fake, which I like. There’s guys that talk a big talk and are being a character, but they’re not being real, and I feel like that’s really who he is, and I think that’s fine. He believes in himself, he’s got quick wit. I’ll do some dancing with the guy if it ever gets to that, but I enjoy it. I think he’s good.”