Urijah Faber is returning to action on July 13 at UFC on ESPN+ 13: de Randamie vs. Ladd, and for his comeback fight the UFC has him facing off against 15-1 prospect Ricky Simon. It’s not exactly the most scintillating matchup we’ve ever seen “The California Kid” involved in, but as he mentioned on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, there’s not too many big name opponent floating around at the moment for him to face.
So he’ll take Simon, and be happy that his opponent’s style will lead to guaranteed fireworks in the cage. As for the future, who knows what it will hold. Perhaps even a fight against his former teammate turned nemesis, T.J. Dillashaw? Dillashaw just relinquished his belt upon news that USADA had caught him using EPO. He’s now serving a two year suspension, until January 2021.
”I’ll have to see how I feel,” Faber said if his plan was to stick around and face T.J. “At where I feel right now, I feel pretty incredible. Who knows how I’ll feel at that time. I’ve always been kind of a late developer and someone who has always had good health so it’s all going to be about timing and me. So if he comes back it will be, I guess, a year and a half, that’s not that long. We will have to see how that pans out.”
Faber also felt that his natural lifestyle gives him an advantage over all the cheaters still out there.
”The guys that don’t cheat, the guys that don’t do EPO, and HGH, and micro-dosing, testosterone or whatever the hell the kids are doing these days have a better longevity. Joints, just your body intact. You are operating as your body is supposed to. For me, I think that is part of the reasons why I have been in the top my entire career, the top echelon. The top ten, the top two, the top three, the top one my entire career. So, I feel good.”
”We will have to see at that point,” Faber concluded. “When you think of big fights for me in the weight class, Kron [Gracie] was exciting because there is a lot of hype around him right now and the history of his family. But, there is no history like the T.J. Dillashaw history that’s for sure.”
He’ll have at least two fights before Dillashaw returns, and based on the Ricky Simon matchup it doesn’t seem like the UFC is going to go easy on him and throw him any legacy bouts against other aging talent. But if there’s one guy who’ll be able to keep up and compete with this next generation out of sheer will, it’s Urijah Faber. Motivated and rejuvenated from a break, who knows? He may be even better than when he left.