UFC president Dana White was impressed with UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber's return from retirement over the weekend, but he's falling short of slotting Faber into a title shot against champ-champ Henry Cejudo.
Faber came out of a two-and-a-half-year retirement at UFC on ESPN+ 13 in his hometown of Sacramento, Calif. He faced rising bantamweight prospect Ricky Simon in the co-main event, impressively taking him out in just 46 seconds. It was the fastest knockout of the 40-year-old's illustrious career.
Immediately after the fight, Faber set his sights on the UFC bantamweight champion.
“Henry, what’s up dog? I remember ten years ago when you challenged me to a fight as a friendly gesture. I’m down to get down with that and mix that up,” Faber said in the Octagon.
He later added that he feels he matches up well with the current champ-champ.
“Henry (Cejudo) broke or out-conditioned and kind of broke his last fight in (Marlon) Moraes. I’m not a type of guy that will ever break. And my wrestling caliber and jiu-jitsu is definitely better than… my jiu-jitsu is definitely better than Henry and he’s got that wrestling background and I love to wrestle. I think it’s a good match-up.”
Though it's an enticing match-up from the perspective of name value and it's interesting in seeing if Faber could finally capture the UFC gold that has eluded him throughout his career, White, in an interview with TMZ Sports, was hesitant to commit to a fifth UFC championship challenge for the California Kid.
In fact, perhaps even more surprising, was White's desire to have Cejudo defend his UFC flyweight title when he returns from injury instead of the bantamweight belt.
There was a time when the UFC flyweight division was all but extinct, but now White appears ready to rebuild it; perhaps around Cejudo.
“You'd have to look at Joe (Benavidez),” White said of Cejudo's next title defense, meaning that the fight would be at flyweight.
“Next, (Cejudo) should defend (the flyweight) title. So he would go to 125, defend that title, then we would decide who he would fight next. I think that as long as Cejudo is willing to defend both titles, I think he's the guy that could carry both (the flyweight and bantamweight divisions).”