Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE
The California Kid is reportedly set to return to action against English grappler Vaughan Lee.
Another fight has reportedly been added to the UFC's Super Bowl weekend show, and it marks the return of The California Kid. Former WEC featherweight champion and current top bantamweight Urijah Faber is set to take on Vaughan Lee according to Brazilian magazine Tatame.
Faber (26-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has competed at 135 lbs following Jose Aldo's destruction of him at "Aldo vs. Faber" for "The Featherweight Championship" back in April 2010. He started off well by submitting Takeya Mizugaki and getting a decision win over Eddie Wineland in his UFC debut. Faber was unable to defeat champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 132. He was supposed to get another crack at the belt (and his 3rd fight with Cruz overall), and he and Cruz were tabbed as coaches for the lone live season of The Ultimate Fighter. When Cruz bowed out with a torn ACL, Faber fought Renan Barao at UFC 149 for the interim title, which Barao took by unanimous decision. It's been over four years since Faber called himself a champion, going 0-5 in his last 5 title fights.
Lee (12-8-1, 1-2 UFC) has fought at bantamweight his entire career and entered the UFC unbeaten in his previous 5 fights. He lost a split decision to Chris Cariaso, but in Japan he pulled off the unique feat of submitting Kid Yamamoto at UFC 144. The success was short-lived as T.J. Dillashaw, a teammate of Faber's, dominated Lee in 2.5 minutes and forced him to tap with a neck crank. It marks the 5th time in 8 losses he's been submitted.
This is a mismatch and that's putting it kindly. Faber is still a high-level fighter and the odds of Lee being competitive with him are remote. It's a gigantic step up in competition for Lee and if he were to win this it'd already be marked as one of the biggest upsets of 2013.
No word on whether this will be on the PPV main card, but Faber is normally popular enough to merit that status so I'd say it will be.