After retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts in 2016, fight fans found it a little odd that 40-year-old Urijah Faber would announce his comeback three years later. Having won a WEC featherweight title, receiving an induction into the UFC Hall of Fame, and dancing in the Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ music video, many thought Faber had nothing left to prove, especially as he always came up short in UFC title shots. That was until something magical happened in his absence – his three biggest rivals suddenly became a non-issue.
With Dominic Cruz’s prime now in the rear-view mirror, he has been slowly transitioning into being a commentator meaning his fighting career is winding down. Added to this, Cruz has spent the last five years riding the pine just as much as fighting due to successive injuries, so the chance he makes it to the octagon in one piece are slim. T.J. Dillashaw is now on the fence for two years for popping for roids, so he poses no threat over the next 20 months. This just leaves Cody Garbrandt, who in his last three fights is now on an intimate first name basis with the canvas after using the exact same fight plan three times in a row – namely getting into a firefight and leading with his chin. For Urijah, the fighting world suddenly looks rosy.
“I wouldn’t say I came back because all the tough fights are gone. No, I came back because I feel I have more to give the sport – namely me winning some easy fights. Now that I can win, nothing can stop me,” said Urijah Faber. “The UFC title is all mine now and it’s about time!”
Fate is a harsh mistress though, with Henry Cejudo now on top there is no guarantee that the competition is any easier with the absence of Urijah’s three big rivals. Granted they may no longer pose a threat, but there are plenty of fighters out there who can. Something tells us Urijah is about to find this out the hard way – face first just like his protégé ‘No Love.’