Urijah Faber  made a triumphant return to the Octagon this past summer, and is still keen to fight. But, it looks like “The California Kid” wants to get the UFC to the negotiating table first.
The 40-year-old, UFC Hall of Famer returned to the cage this past July at UFC Sacramento, and took out rising bantamweight Ricky Simon in the opening round. The bout marked the first time Faber had fought since 2016, when after earning a decision win over Brad Pickett he retired.
The star’s next bout
Due to what Faber’s accomplished in his career, and because of his sizeable following, there’s no question that there’s still fans who want to see him compete. After all, it’s not like we’re talking about a fighter who has incurred multiple, stoppage losses in his career.
“It’s either pay me to fight whoever you want, or I’ll just fight people who sound interesting to me,” Faber said. “I want to talk to Dana about it to be honest – sit down with him and say, ‘Look, there’s a couple of ways this can go: I can not fight again, I could fight big fights, or you can pay me a bunch to fight the new up-and-comers that you want to have me fight.’
“…The biggest thing is the landscape, in my opinion,” Faber said. “The most exciting part about the sport right now is ESPN, about the global expansion, about the other organizations out there. I’m under contract with the UFC, but I’ve heard what organizations are paying across the globe and the sport is just rising and rising. I’m a UFC guy. I want to fight in the UFC, but my contract is four years old. I’d like to rehash things and say, ‘Look, I’d like to be rewarded for it, but let’s have it make sense.”
You can’t fault Faber for these comments. While yes, he has business opportunities outside of the UFC and therefore, he’s not reliant on fight income. But, it is true the MMA landscape has changed a lot since he inked his deal several years back. So, if Faber wants more money to face rising or established contenders, can you blame him?
So, it will be interesting to see what happens here. Will the UFC offer Faber a pay bump? And if so, for what type of opponent? As it stands right now, “The California Kid” is ranked #14. But due to his legacy, there’s no doubt that a lot of younger, higher ranked fighters would welcome the opportunity to face him. Case in point, the champ Henry Cejudo has already mentioned Faber as one of the opponents he’s interested in.