Urijah Faber has retired once before. And if nothing intrigues him enough to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon following his loss to Petr Yan at UFC 245 (watch highlights), he may do it again.
“My whole thing is this — I will stay in phenomenal shape because that’s what I do. I’m going to stay in the gym and in the environment, because that’s what I love to do,” he said during a recent interview with MMA Fighting.
That said, “The California Kid” isn’t committing to walking away from the fight game, he just knows he will be ready to do so if need be. But he is willing to compete again if the stars align with an opportunity that will make him jump.
“If I feel like I want to do something and I feel froggy, I’ll jump. It may be the right opportunity, it might be a birthday present to myself, or it may not happen at all.”
Faber returned to the fight game in July 2019 after a 2.5-year hiatus, defeating Ricky Simon via first round knockout at UFC Fight Night 155 in front of his hometown crowd in Sacramento (see it again here). His second fight back didn’t go too well, though, as he suffered a third round knockout loss to the surging Petr Yan five months later (highlights). As for why he insisted on facing Yan, “The California Kid” says it’s all about getting the chance to steal some shine.
“I actually had a great time in that fight. I was really inspired by that entire process,” he said. “I knew that kid was going to be very tough, which is one of the reasons why I picked that fight.
“Because I felt like he was going to do something big in the future, and I was hoping to steal some of his thunder, but it was a good time to go to fisticuffs with a young, a top contender,” he added.
A win over Yan would have been monumental for Faber, as “No Mercy” is undefeated thus far inside the Octagon (6-0) and is currently ranked No. 3 in the world. At 40 years of age and with 46 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) under his belt, Faber doesn’t necessarily need to fight again — despite the great paychecks — because he has several other business ventures in his life to keep him busy and financially stable.
But if he does decide to come back, possibly for his swan song, who would you recommend he face?