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Urijah Faber teases another comeback, calls out ranked bantamweight

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Sounds like ‘The California Kid’ is open to fighting again.

Urijah Faber before his fight with Petr Yan.
Urijah Faber before his fight with Petr Yan.
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Urijah Faber could see himself returning to the Octagon in the near future.

The former WEC featherweight champion and UFC bantamweight title challenger previously retired from competition after defeating Brad Pickett at UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson in 2016. The retirement was ended two and a half years later though, and Faber returned to take on Ricky Simón at UFC Fight Night: de Randamie vs. Ladd, where he knocked out the prospect in just 46 seconds. Faber attempted to maintain his newfound momentum and accepted a fight against Petr Yan at UFC 245 six months later, but was finished with a head kick.

The loss did not deter him as Faber went on to renew his UFC contract. He said he would remain ready and wait for the right opportunity to fight again, and it sounds like he may have found one. Speaking to “The Schmo” recently, Faber expressed interest in a comeback now that fans are being allowed at events again.

“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,” said Faber. “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 is back, I wouldn’t put it past.”

Should Faber decide to return, he said he would need the right opponent. Fortunately for “The California Kid”, there have been a number of high-profile bantamweights offering to fight him, with Marlon “Chito” Vera being the most vocal of them all.

Faber is also interested in Vera, who fought a Team Alpha Male fighter in Song Yadong last year. He lost a unanimous decision to Yadong and was outraged by the judges’ scorecards, which he called “horse s—t”. Faber said that him and Vera actually shared a tense moment backstage that night and that is part of the reason why he is particularly keen about this potential fight.

“I’ve heard maybe seven or eight guys that have called me out, maybe asked for the fight, some respectfully and some disrespectfully,” said Faber. “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, ‘Guys, you can always do it again’ and he goes, ‘Why don’t you fight me?’ So, right in front of Song, I go, ‘Oh, you don’t want to fight Song again?’ ‘Oh, no I do buh-buh-buh’ but he hasn’t said a word about Song, you know. That would be a good one though, old Chito Vera.”

Faber finished by saying that his comeback will not be immediate as he needs time to get in fight shape. He would also like to request a meeting with the UFC brass to discuss whether this is the best move to make going forward.

“I would probably, if I was going to compete, need to get back into Rocky mode and it would take me a couple of months. I just dislocated my pinky unfortunately in practice, which I don’t know how long that’s going to take. I can’t really make a fist at this point, but I'm not opposed to getting in a good old fistfight. 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.”

In the meantime, the UFC Hall of Famer can be seen on the other side of the Octagon, cornering his Team Alpha Male fighters.