Urijah Faber just can’t seem to stay away from professional fighting, but that only means good things for his fans.
Faber, who turned 42 back in May, has made it clear that he is interested in a return to MMA as long as everything lines up correctly. “California Kid” hasn’t competed since a knockout loss to Petr Yan back in Dec. 2019. Faber had returned to fighting just five months earlier after being away from the sport for three years.
Now, the former WEC featherweight champion is hoping the stars align for another return to the cage. Faber admits that he would have liked to explore the option much sooner, but the COVID-19 pandemic really hampered his chances of coming back to fight, especially since he wouldn’t be competing in front of a crowd.
“I was definitely not planning on the whole shutdown of the entire world and, at that time, having a baby on the way and a newborn,” Faber told The Schmo. “I fight because I love it, it’s a good time, the entire experience. Not having a crowd, I was definitely not going to fight. Now that the crowd’s back, I wouldn’t put it past.”
Luckily, Faber has already been called out by multiple fighters over the past few years. Despite his age the WEC legend is still one of the most popular names in the sport and a fighter who can give any up-and-coming contender the chance to really take off. While “California Kid” has a long list of fighters he could meet in his return Faber is interested in mixing it up with bantamweight contender Marlon Vera.
“I’ve heard maybe seven or eight guys that have called me out, maybe asked for the fight, some respectfully, some disrespectfully,” Faber said. “Chito Vera, he’s one of the guys. That would be an interesting matchup. It’s funny, the whole thing that happened with him and Song Yadong. He was all bent out of shape about that fight. Backstage his whole team was ranting and raving and I said, ‘Guy, you can always do it again,’ and he goes, ‘Why don’t you fight me?’ So I said right in from of Song, ‘You don’t want to fight Song again?’ ‘Oh I do, buh-buh-buh.’ But he hasn’t said a word about Song. That would be a good one though, old Chito Vera.”
All of that said, Faber is going to need some time to prepare for a return to action if it actually happens. The aging veteran doesn’t possess the same athleticism he once did and needs a little extra time to get back into fight shape. Of course, Faber also has to clear his potential return with UFC brass.
“I would probably, if I was going to compete, need to get back into Rocky mode and it would take me a couple months, but I’m not opposed to getting in a good old fist-fight,” Faber said. “Fun, you get paid, part of your passion, so don’t count the idea out. I’ll have a sit down with Sean Shelby and maybe Dana White and see if they think it’s a good idea to get back in there but I’m always game.”