Though UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber’s return to the Octagon seemed to come out of left field for most of us, the former WEC featherweight champion isn’t just dipping his toe in the water.
After his UFC on ESPN+ 13 co-main event bantamweight knockout of Ricky Simon on Saturday night in Sacramento, Calif., Faber made it clear that he is more than willing to fight flyweight and bantamweight champ-champ Henry Cejudo.
Faber made quick work of Simon, who has been rocketing up the ranks, dropping him and finishing with a flurry of punches just 46 seconds into their fight. Having left the Octagon as a perennial contender, Faber doesn’t feel like he’s skipped a beat in his return.
“Honestly, 2016, I left as a top contender. I was ranked No. 2 when I lost to (Jimmie Rivera). I came out on a win. I left a championship fighter,” said Faber on the UFC on ESPN+ 13 post-fight show.
“It’s about match-ups. Dominick Cruz is a tough match-up. You guys know how awkward he is and he’s gotten better over time in my opinion,” he continued.
“And Henry (Cejudo) broke or out-conditioned and kind of broke his last fight in (Marlon) Moraes. I’m not a type of guy that will ever break. And my wrestling caliber and jiu-jitsu is definitely better than… my jiu-jitsu is definitely better than Henry and he’s got that wrestling background and I love to wrestle. I think it’s a good match-up.”
It’s not clear yet how the UFC brass would feel about putting Faber back in the championship mix so fast following a two-and-a-half-year layoff, but it is a fight that has a certain appeal.
If he remains in the Octagon long enough, there are other spicy match-ups as well. A bout pitting Faber against former teammate TJ Dillashaw is one that quickly comes to mind, and it’s one that Faber wouldn’t mind.
“You want to write a movie? Put that scenario in there,” said Faber.
“I’ve been talking about this long before they finally caught TJ for being a little cheat. We knew that was coming.” Faber realizes that the stars may have to align for such a bout to happen.
Dillashaw is currently under suspension for admittedly taking EPO, a banned substance. That two-year sanction will keep him out of the Octagon until at least early 2021.
“By the time TJ returns from suspension, recovering from all of his stuff, I’ll be 41 and a half. So, we’ll see how it goes.”
For now, however, Faber appears ready to continue his return to the cage, and would love a crack at Cejudo.
(Courtesy of UFC)