It's hard to say just how out there Urijah Faber's current belief that he's still "in the mix" is. I mean, after all he's just coming out of a title shot and he's ranked no. 2 in his division (yeah I know the rankings are bad, but still). His only non-title loss in the last decade is to Frankie Edgar. And yet... to many, Faber feels miles outside the title hunt. And it seemed that realization had hit home after his latest loss, when a freshly defeated "California Kid" suggested that he may have fought for the last time.
Yet here we are, just over a month later, and Faber is booked for another fight, this time against rising talent Jimmie Rivera on the UFC 203 card in Cleveland, Ohio. The Team Alpha Male leader recently made an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to talk about the fight and to talk about his future, which still sounds like it contains a lot of hope for another UFC title shot (transcript via MMAFighting):
"How many guys have been able to stay on top for this long and be able to knock down contenders and get yourself in position for big fights at 135 and 145 pounds?" Faber said. "This all comes down to matchups."
"This is a game of millimeters and centimeters and I'm already poised and waiting for opportunities," Faber said. "That's why I don't shy away from, I fight guys that no one has ever heard of, I fought guys who are legends like Frankie Edgar. I love this fight game. I'm passionate about it, I feel great about it."
And while Faber may have to win quite a few of the right matchups to get another shot at Dominick Cruz, there's always a the chance that a shift in title holders (or another injury to the Dominator) puts Faber right back at the front of the pack. As long as he's not losing non-title fights, it's hard to argue with the logic.