Morning Report: Urijah Faber responds to Henry Cejudo’s callout: ‘I would love to do a matchup’

Urijah Faber

Last month UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber made headlines when it was revealed that after an almost three year layoff, he would be coming out of retirement to fight at UFC Sacramento. It was a minor coup for the UFC who have been reportedly offering Faber fights throughout his retirement but have been unsuccessful in getting “The California Kid” to step back into the cage. Apparently all they needed to do was wait.

Faber recently went on the Jim Rome podcast where he talked about his decision to come out of retirement, saying that his recent birthday was a big part of his decision to come back. Faber, who turned 40 just nine days before his return was announced, revealed that as he’s getting older, he still has the desire to compete and he wants to continue leaving a legacy, like the other legends in MMA who have competed into their 40s.

“For me it’s like a life hack, absolutely,” Faber said. “First off, I want to lead by example for my guys. I want to go along with some of the greats like Randy Couture and Bas Rutten and Murilo Bustamante, Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, the list goes on, that have been able [to fight late in life] because they are strong minded and keep their bodies in great shape and their skillset high, being able to compete at any level. But I have tended to do things around my birthday and this is definitely a little gift to myself.”

Faber is already one of the greats. Though he never claimed UFC gold, Faber was a pioneer of the sub-lightweight divisions in MMA, holding the WEC featherweight title from 2007-2008. He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2017 for his contributions to the sport. And wanting to add onto that legacy does not sound like the words of a man who is only returning for a one-off opportunity. Is UFC Sacramento the start of a full-blown comeback tour? Faber says not yet, but that this probably won’t be the last time you see him.

“It is a one-off opportunity, but it’s not necessarily a one-off journey,” Faber said. “I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I always stayed in the USADA drug pooling just to make sure that I had the ability to jump at the drop of a hat if I needed to. This is something that I knew was coming. I wanted to get some things out of the way – the baby of course, getting myself established outside before I’d done anything – but I need that little edge to push me over and I think the birthday, a fight in my hometown, the current lay of the land at the weight class and the new opportunities coming into our sport with the ESPN partnership and the way everything is growing with William-Morris Endeavor, it’s just an exciting time and if you wait too long, there’s no coming out of retirement. Now is the time or otherwise the boat is gonna pass you.”

There have been some pretty major changes in the UFC recently with the move to ESPN, creating more opportunities for a star like Faber to shine on an even bigger platform. Not to mention the fact that the UFC’s newest star, champ-champ-champ Henry Cejudo just called him out by name.

After winning the bantamweight title at UFC 238, Cejudo called for title defenses against Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz, and Faber – strange call outs considering the relative position of each of those opponents in the current 135 pound landscape but Faber was good with it, and says if the opportunity arises, he would love for that to happen.

“First off, I’ve been a huge fan of Henry,” Faber said. “They call him ‘The Cringe’ because of the goofy stuff he does but you can’t deny that he’s got a mindset that is champion to the utmost. Gold medal as young as he did in the Olympics and then becoming a two-time champion, two different weight classes, two of the toughest weight classes – incredible. And you saw that champion mindset takeover. Moraes is a guy that is a champion as well so to see him getting outclassed in the first round and hit a mental switch to turn around and break a guy like Moraes speaks volumes.

“Things come up to matchups. I’ve never been broken in a fight. He’s a wrestler first that has really good standup as he’s shown of late, and an iron jaw and a great mindset but a matchup with him and Cody is super exciting. I would love to do a matchup. There’s nothing in the world that excites me more than fighting someone that could possible be the best of all time in combat sports. How exciting is that for somebody who has got their own goal to do that?

“Then Dominick Cruz, you can never count that guy out. He’s a champion of champions as well. So I liked his callouts and I would love to see a fight with myself or Cody, or Dominick Cruz for Henry.”

Faber takes on Ricky Simon at UFC Sacramento on July 13.


MUST-READ STORIES

Rematch. Khabib Nurmagomedov trashes Conor McGregor, shoots down possible rematch.

New chapter. Rory MacDonald feels he’s entered ‘new chapter’ after addressing doubts in last bout.

Title bout. Lyoto Machida: Goal is to fight for championship after Bellator 222.

Fool. Dillon Danis unconcerned about Drake curse ahead of Bellator 222.

1.2 Million. UFC 238 prelims record company’s biggest television numbers since March.


VIDEO STEW

Khabib vs. Poirier press conference.

Presser reaction.

Bellator Countdown.

Luke taking a look at the incentive structure that keeps fighters from organizing for their collective benefit.

UFC 239 preview. Two GOATs is a cool thing.

Not gonna lie, the UFC 25 years 25 shorts thing started strong but has tapered off some.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Discussing UFC 238 and debating Cejudo’s GOAT claim.

Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC 238 plus discussing the strawweight title picture.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Staying classy.

Fight.

Perry is getting some takers. Shuts down Price though.

Leon Edwards is mad.

Askren has the sauce for everyone on Twitter.

Bader is gonna rule Bellator forever.

Sportsmanship.

Confirmed: Henry Cejudo sucks his thumb..


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Aaron Chalmers (4-1) vs. Fred Freeman (2-1); Bellator London, June 22.

Derek Brunson (19-7) vs. Ian Heinisch (13-1); UFC 241, Aug. 17.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2015: Fabricio Werdum became the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, submitting Cain Velasquez with a guillotine choke at UFC 188.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

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