Bellator MMA broadcaster and former UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy has warned Urijah Faber against a return to the Octagon.
Faber was last in action at UFC 245 in December 2019. At the pay-per-view, “The California Kid” faced the rising Petr Yan. The Russian defeated the bantamweight great with a third-round head kick knockout. Yan would go on to become the division’s champion in his very next fight.
Despite not fighting since his convincing loss to Yan, recent speculation has suggested that Faber is getting the itch to return to the Octagon again. The 42-year-old was even on the receiving end of a callout from ranked bantamweight Marlon Vera.
But John McCarthy, who has been a prominent presence in MMA dating back to UFC 2 in 1994, doesn’t believe Faber has what it takes to compete with the best anymore, and, with nothing left to prove, says “The California Kid” should put a stop to any talk of a return to action.
In a recent episode of The Weighing In podcast with McCarthy and Josh Thomson, the former referee acknowledged the incredible career Faber had as a fighter, but said that, given he has a family and coaching obligations, he has no reason to fight anymore.
“Stop, just stop. Look, I love Urijah. You had a fantastic career as a fighter. You’ve been incredible in helping other fighters move up the ranks. Get to places they wanna be, helping them getting them to the big organization. You’ve been a great trainer for guys. You’ve been a person that has helped them in the entire process of understanding the game, learning what to do, learning the techniques, learning how to handle your finances too. Love you, Urijah. Stop. You’ve got a family now. There is no reason to fight anymore. What are you fighting for?” (h/t EssentiallySports)
McCarthy added that if Faber was returning with a chance of becoming a champion, there would be a reason for more fights. But in his view, the veteran can’t beat any of the top bantamweights in the UFC anymore.
“If you were gonna say I’m coming back coz, I can be champ. Ok if that’s the truth, you think you can get there great. Do it. It’s like Jose Aldo, I think there’s a possibility he can be the champion, he can have that kind of fight. He can pull that kind of fight off. Urijah can’t. Urijah can’t beat the people in the top 10.
“How many can he beat? He’s not gonna beat Aljamain, he’s not gonna beat Petr, He’s not goon beat T.J. He’s not gonna beat Cory, he won’t beat Rob…Aldo, Marlon Moraes, Frankie Edgar, he’s not gonna beat Edgar, Pedro Munhoz, he’s not gonna beat, Pedro. He’s already proved he can’t beat Dominick Cruz. There is no one. Why do it? There’s just no need for it,” said John McCarthy.
If we have indeed seen the last of Faber in the Octagon, we were certainly treated to a special mixed martial arts career. Despite never having UFC gold wrapped around his waist, the Californian fought for the undisputed bantamweight title on three occasions and once for the interim strap.
After six years in the promotion, Faber was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame back in 2017. With one victory and one defeat since, Faber would be retiring without ending his career on a losing skid as many legends have done before him.
Do you think Urijah Faber should fight again?