At UFC Sacramento, Urijah Faber will return to the Octagon for a bantamweight tilt against Ricky Simon. It will be nearly three years since ‘The California Kid” last fought, but the 40-year-old is eager to return.
Although Simon is not the biggest name, a win at UFC Sacramento could help setup a future fight with former teammate turned bitter rival T.J. Dillashaw. The former UFC bantamweight kingpin, Dillashaw is currently suspended for two years due to EPO use.
T.J. Dillashaw and Urijah Faber once trained together like brothers at Team Alpha Male. However, after Dillashaw decided to exit Faber’s gym in order to train under Duane Ludwig, what was once a strong friendship turned into an ugly feud.
The rivalry escalated after Dillashaw knocked out Faber’s pupil Cody Garbrandt in back to back fights at UFC 217 and UFC 227.
Given that Dillashaw will be suspended for another year and a half, the question of will the two ever fight each other is up in the air. However, Urijah Faber says he is open to it if his body still feels the way it does now.
“I have to see how I feel. Where I feel right now, I feel pretty incredible. Who knows how I’ll feel at that time. I’ve always been kind of a late developer and someone who has always had good health. It’s all going to be about timing and me,” Faber said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Now, if he comes back it will be a year and a half so that is not that long. We will have to see how that pans out.
“One of the reasons and Dana (White) has talked about also and I’ve talked to Murilo Bustamante and some of the other guys. The guys that don’t cheat, the guys that don’t do EPO, and HGH, and micro-dosing, testosterone or whatever the hell the kids are doing these days have a better longevity, joints. Just (your) body intact. You are operating as your body is supposed to. For me, I think that is part of the reasons why I have been in the top my entire career, the top echelon. The top-ten, the top-two, the top-three, the top-one my entire career. So, I feel good. We will have to see at that point. When you think of big fights for me in the weight class, Kron was exciting because there is a lot of hype around him right now and the history of his family. But, there is no history like the T.J. Dillashaw history that’s for sure.”
Ultimately, this fight couldn’t happen until January 2021 at the earliest. But, if it does happen it would be one of the biggest rivalry fights in all of MMA.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/3/2019.