Usually, if you're a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter competing in championship main event contest, it means you're fighting the biggest name available in your weight class, right?
Not according to former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber.
34 fights into his MMA career, 'The California Kid" says fighting "big name" opponents inside the cage is priority number one, not necessarily fighting for the title, because the one holding the belt isn't necessarily the biggest draw.
A longtime staple in the MMA scene, Urijah Faber has become a household name. And while he has yet to win gold inside the Octagon, Faber remains a big-time draw for the Las Vegas-based fight company and when his name is on the card, people usually tune in.
Currently on a two-fight winning streak, the dilemma Faber is currently facing is the fact that there aren't too many guys in the lighter weight classes that carry the star power and popularity equal to -- or greater -- than his.
He broke it down to New York Post:
"I'm in a weird spot in the sport being one of the biggest names in the lighter weight division, but not having a bunch of guys with big names to fight. When it comes to the big fights, they're not necessarily for the belt for me. Barao is still not the biggest fight for me. It's kind of a weird predicament. I want to do the ones that count, the ones that people care about. Someone else that has a big fan base."
One can argue Faber's case.
While there are plenty of talented individuals fighting in the 135 and 145-pound divisions, aside from Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz and Frankie Edgar, the lighter weight classes -- sans the 155-pound division -- may be lacking in "star power."
Given the fact that other well-known names such as Joseph Benavidez and Chad Mendes are in Urijah's camp, bouts against those two are out of the question.
Coming up short in both of his bantamweight title fights inside the Octagon -- losing to "The Dominator" at UFC 132 and falling to Renan Barao at UFC 149 -- Faber still eyes a potential run at the gold, however, taking part in "super fights" is much more appealing for him at this stage of his career.
The Team Alpha Male leader has expressed interest in facing former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar before his career comes to an end and revealed he offered his services to face "The Answer" at UFC 153 when Jose Aldo came down with an injury.
And while the topic of conversation around the water cooler after a Faber victory usually has to do with the possibility of him getting another potential (and what many perceive to be an unwarranted) title shot, "The California Kid" has a message for his critics:
"I've been at the top for a long time. To all the critics, all the people complaining about me getting another title shot, motherf-----r, I'm still here."
And he isn't ready to go anywhere, just yet.