Urijah Faber’s decision to return to competition surprised former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who said the news caught him off guard considering Faber’s success outside of the Octagon.
The now 40-year-old Faber has been out of the sport since December of 2016, when he beat Brad Pickett in his hometown of Sacramento via unanimous decision in his farewell fight. The fan-favorite “California Kid” announced recently he had the itch to compete again and the UFC booked him opposite Ricky Simon on July 13 at UFC Sacramento.
Bisping, who is 40 as well and retired from competition in November 2017, said on a recent edition of his “Believe You Me” podcast that he was surprised that the former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion decided to come out of retirement, considering how well his business ventures appear to be doing.
“I was surprised because by all accounts, Urijah Faber is a very, very successful businessman,” Bisping said. “And no disrespect [to] Urijah. Everybody loves the f---ing ‘California Kid.’ Yeah he’s a very successful businessman [and] has his fingers in a lot of pies, even dabbling into movie producing these days, so he’s keeping busy. He still has Team Alpha Male. They have this other new gym that they opened, which is a beautiful facility as well.”
Bisping speculates that Faber may have been motivated to return to fighting by his experiences coaching at his Team Alpha Male gym.
“I think it’s probably a case of, he’s around the gym, he’s working out with the guys still, he’s the head coach. And he’s like, ‘hold on a minute I’ve still f---ing got this.’ [He] maybe dominated some of the guys in there.”