by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
With a title shot looming if he’s successful at WEC 46: Varner vs. Henderson on Sunday night, Urijah Faber remains focused on the task at hand.
The former WEC featherweight champion takes on top five ranked Raphael Assuncao on Jan. 10 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., but isn’t distracted by the promise of a title shot against Jose Aldo if victorious.
“I don’t want to get too excited about fighting Aldo yet because I’ve got another hard-headed Brazilian to try and throw around. We’ll see how that goes. I’m expecting a great performance and hopefully have the belt by midway through 2010,” Faber told the media on a conference call on Tuesday.
“I don’t want to talk too much about that fight because it’s not something I need to focus on right now.”
Faber has been out of commission since losing to Mike Brown in a rematch at WEC 41 in June of last year, suffering a broken right hand and dislocating his thumb on his left in the loss.
“I’m excited to get back in there,” said Faber. “It’s been a while for me. It’s been six months and a lot of recovery and stuff for me with my hands.”
Ranked No. 3 in the world, Faber draws a tough opponent in his first fight back from the injuries. Assuncao is ranked in the top five and looking to get to a title fight himself.
“I’ve got a great opponent in Raphael, another guy who fights to go out there and kill. He’s always in good shape,” commented the 30-year-old Californian. “It’s going to be kind of a coming out party. There’s going to be a lot of eyes on me and my return, and it will be good for Raphael too.
“I expect to win, but it’s going to be a great fight.”