Urijah Faber Rates 'Confusing' Dominick Cruz a Tougher Challenge Than Henry Cejudo

By Nathan Zur Jul 16, 2019


Urijah Faber made a spectacular return in his first fight in nearly three years, knocking out the surging Ricky Simon in under a minute at UFC Sacramento on Saturday, and talk immediately focused on what is next for “The California Kid.”

In his post-fight interview, Faber accepted the challenge issued to him by two-division champ Henry Cejudo, who called out the UFC Hall of Famer after beating Marlon Moraes to capture the vacant bantamweight title.

Faber and Cejudo have been trading barbs over Twitter and the 40-year-old, who was a guest on ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show’, broke down how likely it would be for UFC matchmakers to give him a title fight against the dual-division belt holder considering his recent return from retirement (transcribed via MMANews.com):

“I mean, I would imagine it’s very likely. I mean for me, when I left the sport, I was you know, my fight before I retired, I was ranked No. 2 in the world. Then I lost a lackluster decision to basically ankle kicks and that put me at No. 6, I believe. And that’s when I left the sport, and I left on a win against Brad Pickett, who is a solid, solid fighter in the sport…I’ve always been that caliber fighter that can fight for a world championship, and it really comes down to match-ups.”

While Cejudo holds the belts in both the flyweight and bantamweight divisions, Faber believes the former 135-pound champion in Dominick Cruz poses a far greater challenge for him than the Olympic gold medallist:

“You know, Dom Cruz is a very strange guy to fight. He’s very tough and unique. Henry Cejudo isn’t as confusing, that’s for sure. He’s very mentally tough, which is his strongest attribute in my opinion. He’s obviously a professional and has made these massive gains in his skillset and made little tweaks throughout time. He’s a champion of champions. Henry Cejudo, gold medal, as young as he accomplished it, then coming in and becoming a two-division champion, that is a dream scenario for me to go test myself.”

Faber holds Cejudo in high regard and the pair trained together several years ago at Team Alpha Male. “The California Kid” said he respects that the former Olympian is just being himself and doing whatever he wants in his quest to promote himself:

“He just came in for a couple days, and man, I love Henry’s energy. That guy, first off, he doesn’t care what people think. That’s something that’s very, very important in this world. Henry’s being himself, he’s taking it to the next level. He’s accentuating what people are pointing out and saying, ‘Yeah, this is me, I’m kind of a goofy dude. Whatever.’

“He’s also a badass because he knows how to work hard and accomplish a lot.”

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