Though details on UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber’s return to the Octagon are still scarce, Faber did confirm over the weekend that he is returning and has added the name of his comeback opponent. Faber told UFC veteran and commentator Dan Hardy that he would be facing Ricky Simon in his comeback fight.
Faber posted on social media mid-March, teasing that he was interested in a UFC return bout to help keep him feeling young. The post sounded somewhat serious, but it was unclear if he truly intended to return to fighting following a two-and-a-half-year retirement that included induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Turns out, Faber was serious and has already inked a deal for his UFC return bout. “I just accepted a fight yesterday, I don’t know if that’s supposed to be put out yet,” Faber told Hardy over the weekend, while in England for a grappling bout with Nicky Ryan, which he lost.
Faber hasn’t confirmed the date or location – although it is highly likely that he’ll return at UFC on ESPN+ 13 on July 13 in his hometown of Sacramento, Calif. – and was initially hesitant to unveil his opponent in an initial video interview with Hardy. In a subsequent video posted by Hardy, Faber revealed that he would be facing Simon and detailed his initial thoughts for a return opponent and how that led to Simon.
“I was gonna fight Kron (Gracie) and Kron said no, as the main event at 145. Then I was pitching Cub (Swanson). (Matchmaker Sean Shelby) said no because (Swanson) is on a four-fight losing streak and didn’t do anything for the division,” Faber recounted.
“Then they said Ricky Simon wants it. So I said alright. There’s so many guys out in the division. I took some time off, started a family, which is one of the reasons why I stopped. I felt like I needed to slow down in order to progress.”
Though Simon isn’t one of the men battling for a title shot just yet, he has been impressive in his three UFC starts in the bantamweight division. He holds victories over the likes of Merab Dvalishvili, Montel Jackson, and Rani Yahya. A win over the likes of Faber would certainly make his case for inclusion in the UFC bantamweight rankings.
With Faber having been out of mixed martial arts competition for two and a half years, Simon should prove to be a good barometer for him to determine where his skill level is at and whether or not he wants to commit to making another run at a UFC championship.
Urijah Faber reveals UFC comeback opponent to Dan Hardy
(Courtesy of Full Reptile)