Over the weekend, MMA great Urijah Faber came out of retirement in quite the impressive fashion.
The 40-year-old ‘California Kid’ starched formerly rising star Ricky Simon (watch it) in just 46 seconds in the co-main event of last Saturday’s (July 13, 2019) UFC Sacramento from the Golden1 Center. After the huge return win, Faber called out current UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo for a title fight.
Cejudo was quick to respond in brutal fashion. Faber took the time to break down how he matches up in a potential bout with Cejudo, but he also wouldn’t mind a fight with teammate-turned-rival TJ Dillashaw.
So the options are many for the multi-time UFC title contender. He appeared on today’s episode of ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show’ to dive into just how likely a title fight with Cejudo is. He thinks it’s very likely, and he detailed just why:
“I mean, I would imagine it’s very likely. I mean for me, when I left the sport, I was you know, my fight before I retired, I was ranked No. 2 in the world. Then I lost a lackluster decision to basically ankle kicks and that put me at No. 6, I believe. And that’s when I left the sport, and I left on a win against Brad Pickett, who is a solid, solid fighter in the sport…I’ve always been that caliber fighter that can fight for a world championship, and it really comes down to match-ups.”
Not As Tough As Cruz?
As far as how he matches up with ‘Triple C,’ well, Faber believes the current two-division champion is not nearly as difficult as his former rival Dominick Cruz. But Faber was still very respectful of Cejudo’s accomplishments.
So much so, he called ‘The Messenger’ a perfect foil for him to test himself against:
“You know, Dom Cruz is a very strange guy to fight. He’s very tough and unique. Henry Cejudo isn’t as confusing, that’s for sure. He’s very mentally tough, which is his strongest attribute in my opinion. He’s obviously a professional and has made these massive gains in his skillset and made little tweaks throughout time. He’s a champion of champions. Henry Cejudo, gold medal, as young as he accomplished it, then coming in and becoming a two-division champion, that is a dream scenario for me to go test myself.”
Take All Of Cejudo’s Titles
Faber then laid out the stakes on the line if he fought Cejudo. He claimed it was not one belt on the line, but a gold medal and two UFC belts:
“This is a chance for me to win a gold medal, to win a couple of belts, and to wrap it all up.”
While the gold medal obviously wouldn’t be on the line, Faber’s legacy would gain a massive boost were he to defeat Cejudo. The two have trained before at Team Alpha Male, and Faber loved his potential foe’s energy. ‘The California Kid’ loves how he’s marketing himself. Yet while that comes off a bit goofy, Faber knows just how good Cejudo truly is:
“He just came in for a couple days, and man, I love Henry’s energy. That guy, first off, he doesn’t care what people think. That’s something that’s very, very important in this world. Henry’s being himself, he’s taking it to the next level. He’s accentuating what people are pointing out and saying, ‘Yeah, this is me, I’m kind of a goofy dude. Whatever.’
“He’s also a badass because he knows how to work hard and accomplish a lot.”
Signs are pointing to this match-up actually becoming a reality. However, Cejudo could be out for the rest of 2019 due to shoulder surgery. A lot could change in that time, and Faber doesn’t necessarily have years to wait for a title shot.
But this fight is becoming more and more prevalent in the media, and it’s the kind of title bout UFC owners Endeavor love to put together.
Is Cejudo vs. Faber the fight to make at bantamweight?