Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber came out of retirement this year at 40 years of age and immediately shot himself into bantamweight title contention with a TKO victory over Ricky Simon in July. After losing to top contender Petr Yan Saturday at UFC 245, however, “The California Kid” told ESPN that he’s no longer actively looking to become champion again.
“I’m not going to be pursuing the belt at this moment,” Faber said Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“I’m going to be chilling with the family, staying in great shape, staying in the gym, and it’s a ‘I could or I couldn’t.'”
Just as he did his entire career the first time around, Faber sought out the best possible competition since coming out of retirement. In addition to being 14 years younger than Faber, Yan has won nine consecutive fights and sits atop the bantamweight contender’s list along with Aljamain Sterling.
Had Faber managed to beat Yan he would have likely had a good chance to be booked against bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo, who has sparred with Faber verbally over social media. After suffering a TKO loss to Yan, Faber isn’t ruling out fighting again, he just wants to continue to do things on his own timetable and for his own reasons.
“I mean [Yan is] very tough, but I knew he was tough,” Faber continued.
“I felt like he’s one of the most dangerous guys, period, in the division. I knew that going in, and that’s kind of why I wanted to fight — aside from the guys on my team, Song Yadong and Cody Garbrandt, are both faster and just as powerful and a little more well-rounded, but I knew that was going to be a nasty fight. I knew I would have a chance to catch him, but he had a very good chance of catching me.”
Faber has still won two out of his last three fights and has the popularity and apparent financial independence to call his own shots. The Team Alpha Male leader plans on doing just that, moving forward.
“I’m not doing a fight just to have a fight,” he concluded.
“I’ll do it on my terms if I want to do it to celebrate my birthday, or if there’s something that’s really intriguing.”
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