Urijah Faber admits that his situation, as far as where he stands in the current bantamweight landscape, is a bit "weird."
"The California Kid" sits at No. 3 in the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rankings (see them here ). The only people ahead of him are three men he knows all too well in bitter rival Dominick Cruz (No 2.), Renan Barao (No. 1) and the champion, T.J. Dillashaw, who happens to be Faber's friend and training partner.
Which begs the question: Who does Faber fight next?
A third fight against Cruz or Barao doesn't make much sense at the moment, as Renan has two wins over him and '"The Dominator" is lined up for a title shot. The only logical thing is to book him against Raphael Assuncao, the man behind him in the rankings.
The only problem is, Faber recently told MMA Fighting that a fight against Raphael -- who he defeated back in 2010 -- doesn't do much for him.
"Fighting Raphael Assuncao isn't that exciting to me. I have nothing against him, he's a good guy and a good fighter. I just think there are other challenges out there that could be better for me. I mean, if Assuncao was a fight the UFC wanted, I wouldn't say no to it. I've never said no to any fight the UFC has asked of me. It's not a fight I'd lobby for. Right now I'm willing to wait and see what comes up."
That's okay, Urijah, the feeling is mutual, as the Brazilian bomber isn't too excited about facing you either, because he believes he's due for a title shot in his next outing.
And a well-deserved one, at that.
Winning five of his last six bouts, Faber continues to be a threat in the 135-pound division. Unfortunately, when you look at the top 10 fighters in his weight class, there really aren't a whole lot of options that make sense for the Team Alpha Male leader.
Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, you have your work cut out for you.