UFC 148: Urijah Faber's new opponent announcement date set

Urijah Faber mystery

It looks like you've got some extra incentive to tune in for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Live this Friday night (May 18, 2012).

During today's Ultimate Fighter quarterfinals conference call, it was announced that UFC President Dana White will make the official announcement of Urijah Faber's next opponent, who will be stepping in for the injured UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

The announcement will be taking place during Friday's episode of The Ultimate Fighter on FX during the 10-11 p.m. ET window, likely during the live portion after both quarterfinal bouts have taken place.

It's widely accepted that with Cruz's extended layoff due to a knee injury, Faber will be battling for the interim title, so this opponent selection will be very important in terms of the future of the bantamweight division and the title picture.

Faber has been coaching against Cruz throughout this entire season of The Ultimate Fighter in what was expected to be a perfect build to their UFC 148 trilogy fight as both men have split the first two bouts, but the injury bug got in the way.

There are plenty of potential candidates for the title shot. Youngster Michael McDonald is coming off an emphatic first round knockout of former WEC champion Miguel Torres just one month ago and is poised to take the leap to the big time.

Other possible challengers include Renan Barao, who's already fighting on the UFC 148 card against Ivan Menjivar and has gone unbeaten in 29 straight fights which includes a recent dominant decision victory over former title challenger Scott Jorgensen.

Fringe candidates include Brad Pickett, who took home "Fight of the Night" at the UFC on Fuel TV 2 show or even Barao's current opponent Ivan Menjivar, who's quietly gone 3-0 in the UFC at 135 pounds.

Who do you think will get the shot? Got anyone else in mind?

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