Mixed martial arts retirements are very rarely permanent, and Urijah Faber could be just the latest example of a fighter returning to the Octagon after calling it a career.
The 39-year-old UFC Hall of Famer appeared on "Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on Monday and admitted that he is contemplating a return after retiring from the sport in December 2016. “The California Kid” recently became a father and is in the process of preparing for a grappling match in Polaris against Nicky Ryan on May 25.
He believes training for that match will help get him into the proper condition if the right opportunity arises.
"With the baby in my life, and with the rejuvenation of my body, and seeing why I stood out for so long, it's just really, really tempting," Faber said. "And I'm going to take this time to prepare for this May 25 matchup with one of the best jiu-jitsu players on the planet, to get my body into shape. And I'm going to continue with that and get my body back into [being] a weapon and look for an opportunity to possibly step in if there's something that makes sense.”
Faber revealed that the UFC contacted him on two occasions last year to offer short-notice fights against Chan Sung Jung and Cub Swanson. After some time away, Faber nearly accepted.
"I was just so tempted to hop in there because I've been feeling great in practice," he said. "I actually feel like the rest has been a rejuvenating rest. My body feels amazing. My head feels clear. But I don't like to be doing things on a whim.”
While there is no guarantee that Faber will compete again, the former WEC champion said that he has remained in the USADA testing pool since his retirement, clearing the way for him to fight without a six-month delay.
“I stayed in the the testing pool since Day 1 because I thought I might want to jump in,” he said.
Faber ended his UFC tenure on a high note, taking a unanimous verdict over Brad Pickett at UFC on Fox 22 in Sacramento. The Team Alpha Male founder went 10-6 during his time in the promotion, challenging for the bantamweight crown on four different occasions.