Urijah Faber is in a tough spot.
He’s come up short in two attempts to capture UFC bantamweight gold, but he remains one of the division’s best. Most recently, he submitted Ivan Menjivar via rear-naked choke on Saturday at UFC 157. But who’s next for “The California Kid”?
“I’m in an interesting predicament where whoever I fight, if they’re not a top contender or a titleholder, then they’re throwing me a chump,” Faber told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, referring to the perception that he’s being matched favorably. “What a lot of people feel, that I get title shots -- if I get a title shot, then I’ve got too many title shots. It’s like, I’m in a weird predicament because I’ve been in the top of the weight class for so long.”
One option would be for Faber to move back up to 145 pounds, where he was a champion in the WEC.
“I wouldn’t mind taking a fight at 145,” Faber said. “It would have to be the right fight. I’ve said this for a long time: I want to do the fights that are big, that people care about.”
Frankie Edgar was one possible featherweight opponent mentioned on “Beatdown.” Faber sounded very interested in the matchup.
“That sounds like a huge fight to me,” Faber said. “Frankie, as far as I’m concerned, if he gets the nod on Benson Henderson, he’s one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Then he goes in against who I in my true heart feel is the best fighter pound-for-pound in the world in Jose Aldo and has a great fight with him. It’s really a fight with a couple of the best pound-for-pound guys.”
It would likely generate plenty of interest, too. Accordingly, Faber would want to be compensated fairly.
“I’ve had a long career where I feel like I could be able to cash in at this point,” he said. “The UFC, although they get a lot of flak sometimes, they are very fair. I have no complaints about them being unfair to the fighters or anything like that. They go above and beyond. If there’s some superfights and they feel I could be a good sale, I’d be willing to do that as well.”
Before he turns to superfights, though, Faber would like another crack at the 135-pound belt.
“What would mean more is if I could get the title and then start doing the fights,” he said. “I would like to make a run at this title, would like to get that down in the history books and then be a two weight class champion and then have some really big superfights.”
At 135, Faber may not have that many appealing options outside of another title shot. He’s already beat Eddie Wineland and other contenders, but he hasn’t fought Brad Pickett yet.
“I think Brad Pickett’s a guy that has a great name, especially over in his home country,” Faber said. “He’s an exciting fighter. There’s a couple of other guys that have notoriety, but not many. It’s an interesting thing for me. As far as publicity and moving up the ladder as far as ranks and everything else, it’s just a lose-lose situation for me. But I’ll fight whoever.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 56:22).