Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Urijah Faber On Wanting To Fight Conor McGregor In Ireland, Issues With Fighting T.J. Dillashaw

UFC veteran “The California Kid” Urijah Faber recently spoke with the folks at Submission Radio about a number of topics, including his desire to fight “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in Ireland, the issues with fighting his teammate, current UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw and more.

Below are highlights from the interview, which you can listen to in full via the YouTube player embedded above.

Why he took the fight against Frankie Edgar and how he can’t wait around for “fragile” Dominick Cruz to heal up: “You know what, there’s only certain people in this sport that are in the position that I’m in, where I can go up to a weight, and go back down to a weight and be able to fight the top competitors, and I just want to take advantage of that. Frankie’s a legendary fighter, he’s a former world champion, I’m a former world champion, and I just want a challenge; and I feel like I can’t wait around all day for Dominick Cruz to heal up. The guy is kind of fragile and this is a fight that I’ve been kind of wanting for a long time, and I feel like it almost happened a couple of times but the stars didn’t align, and at this point it’s like it’s a kind of a dream matchup for myself and I’m sure for Frankie and for the fans for sure.

On if he is planning on keep fighting at Featherweight or if he plans on returning to Bantamweight after the Edgar fight: “You know I’m just gonna kind of get a lay of the land. I know that I have the ability to do both. Like I can drop to 135 if I need to, I’ve proven that. If there’s some really exciting match ups over there, then I might go back down. If there’s some exciting match ups at 145, you know at this point in my career I want to do the big fights, the fights that matter, and you know that’s kinda where I’m sitting. So as much enjoyment as I can get out of this career, as many big things that I can do in this career the better, and I’ve always felt like that.”

On advantages he feels he has over Edgar: “I don’t think we’re really going to know until we get in front of each other. You know we’re both guys that have a wrestling background, division 1 wrestling background. I was top 12 in the nation, I believe he was top 12 in the nation also. He’s probably a little bit bigger than I am just naturally. I would say 8 pounds approximately. I don’t know. I don’t know actually how big he is. You know I saw him standing next to each other and there was some size difference, a little bit, but I’m not sure who’s going to be the physically stronger guy. I feel like his MMA wrestling is really good, I feel like my MMA Jiu Jitsu is really good. It’s going to be a question of who’s faster. I feel like I’m going to be faster, he may think he’s going to be faster. I feel really comfortable on the stand up game. He’s like kind of a traditional set boxer and I’m kind of outside the box. It’s going to be a good match up man. I’m excited for it. I’m excited to get in there and really find out who’s the better guy.”

On what he needs to look out for in the fight against Edgar: “He has short tight combos that I’m sure when they’re accurate are very dangerous. So that’s one thing. He also keeps a real high pace which I’m used to and that’s what I’m known for as well. So I’m not sure. I’ve never been taken down and controlled in a fight, in any time in my life, and I don’t think that he’s going to be able to do that to me, and I don’t know if he’s going to want to do that. I think he’s going to come in and if he’s the slower guy and not able to hit me, I think he might go for the takedown. I’d be down for a knockdown, drag out. I’d be down for a grappling match. I’m down for anything man. I love this sport.”

On being offered the T.J. Dillashaw fight but preferring to fight Conor McGregor in Ireland instead: “You know I had a strange call from Dana [White] that threw out a scenario of fighting for the belt with TJ and I turned it down. I don’t turn down fights, it’s not my thing, but it would be kind of weird if I fought TJ at 135. So if I could get another shot at 145 or even I feel like a fight with McGregor is a big fight right now. I’d do that in a heartbeat. If he wants to go to Ireland, I’ll be the heel in Ireland in front of 90,000 folks. Either way I’m good for anything. I’m just going to take it one fight at a time, I have a huge task in front of me. I’m fighting a legend and one of the top fighters pound for pound in the world in my opinion, Frankie Edgar, and I’m looking forward to that.”

On Conor McGregor’s personality, fight style and not being fake: “I like it. I like his fighting style, he’s got a great fighting style. We haven’t really seen him, especially with his grappling. His grappling seems pretty good though. I don’t know how he’d deal against a great wrestler, but he definitely has some great movement, some great stand up. As far as personality goes, I think he’s a good guy. I don’t think he’s being fake which I like. You know there’s guys that talk a big talk and are being a character, but they’re not being real, and I feel like that’s really who he is, and I think that’s fine. He believes in himself, he’s got quick wit. You know, I’ll do some dancing with the guy if it ever gets to that, but I enjoy it. I think he’s good.”

On if the fight with T.J. Dillashaw is really likely down the line or if it’s Dana White just being hopeful: “You know it’s weird. I feel like, I don’t really feel like it was him pitching me. He goes “Look I know you think your fighting Assuncao, but what if I told you you’re going to be fighting TJ [Dillashaw] for the belt in here?” and I was like “ah man, that’d be kind of weird. I think I would rather just fight, you know Assuncao”. You know that was kind of the conversation. He goes “okay” and then hung up. It was probably a 24 second conversation. So I feel like he was having a bet in this, like a couple of people in the room. It was after he’d said we’d fight each other, which never really happened. We hadn’t had the conversation at all. So if TJ really wanted that fight and wanted me to fight him because it was going to be a huge pay day, and it was going to be the opportunity that put him over, and it’d be a great benefit to both of us, man I would have that conversation, but it’d need to be with TJ kind of brining that to me.”

On his thoughts on Anderson Silva testing positive for steroids and if there’s a PED problem in MMA: “Man you know what, it’s just kind of disheartening for myself. You know I’m a guy who’s 35 years old, I’ve been in this sport 11 plus years and it just sucks that everyone’s cheating. And I’ve heard that before and people have said “oh I feel like 95 percent of people are cheating, and I feel like this amount of people are cheating”. And I’m like, you know what? I have never taken any PED’s and I always kind of assumed, I guess I’m a gifted athlete as far as from genetics and things like that, but it’s just not fair man. I don’t know what the solution is, but it’s just not fair. Obviously there is a problem. So it’s unfortunate and I’m just glad that I’m not part of the problem.”

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