There was a time in the not too distant past when the bantamweight division of the UFC seemed to revolve around the rivalries shared by T.J. Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz, and Urijah Faber. The ensuing rise of Coby Garbrandt, protege of Faber, ensured that this dynamic was kept intact after Faber retired from MMA in December of 2016, and a new chapter was added to this story at UFC 217 this past weekend. Dillashaw dethroned Garbrandt with a knockout in the second round and so recaptured the UFC bantamweight title.
Just before the fight, Faber mentioned, in a rather relaxed fashion, that he would consider coming out of retirement if a fight with Dillashaw were a possibility. Dillashaw, of course, is the former Team Alpha Male, TEAM, member, whose controversial departure from the Faber-led team turned into one of UFC 217’s driving narratives. When Faber made these comments, Dillashaw had not yet claimed the UFC Gold, so the question is whether, in light of his win, Faber would still wish to challenge him?
Faber Explains His Position on The MMA Hour
Faber explained his attitude when he appeared on The MMA Hour, the show online betting enthusiasts interested in the UFC make sure never to miss. He said that the was asked what it would take to get him back into the octagon, and his reply was money, and lots of it. When he was then asked whether an invitation to a fight from Dillashaw would serve to do it, he answered that that sounded like fun.
No Match-Up is On the Cards
Faber said that he was unaware of anyone asking for this fight, calling for it, or making any kind of offer, but added that he would consider it if the conditions were right. He added that he was not afraid of a good fight, and in fact enjoyed it, and that he also had no problem with making money!
He tempered this by saying that he would hate for that to be the focus however, rather than Garbrandt getting back in and taking his shot at redemption, because he has been putting his time and effort into becoming the world champion, and Faber was retired, and looked set to remain so for the time being.
Faber Was a Big Favourite with Fans
Faber, now 38-years old, was always a fan favourite when he was still fighting, although he went 0 – 4 in his four shots at the bantamweight UFC title. He lost twice to Renan Barao, and twice more to Cruz, with one of the latter defeats including a rubber match against the fighter in June of 2016 that saw Faber lose thanks to a unanimous one-sided decision. He was hardly ever the underdog, and he’s proud of this.
However, The California Kid, as he was known, is slightly younger than the former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who went on to headline UFC 217, and Faber remains one of the most successful and significant fighters of his era. He helped pave the way for the ascension of the lower weight classes with his run in the WEC, and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier this year.