Urijah Faber is back in action tomorrow night at UFC 245, facing Petr Yan in a key bantamweight division encounter.
There is one big reason that Faber says he accepted the bout for and that is because a win gets the fighter into title contention.
“It puts me in position to fight for a world championship,” Faber told MMA Junkie. “I’m not here to fight every Joe Schmo. This guy is a legit contender, somebody that’s been taking out guys and has a lot of hype behind his name. (UFC president Dana White) actually gave me a couple of different options, and he said, ‘What it looks like for title contention, this is the guy you should fight.’ And I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.’ I look at Petr Yan and see who stacks against him, and I don’t think there are many guys that are fit to beat a guy like this. Aljamain (Sterling) because of his wrestling, possibly, but Yan is no joke when it comes to wrestling. I’ve seen him try to take down guys, and he’s got a good jiu-jitsu game. This is the only reason why I’m taking this fight. Dana said, ‘If you want to be in title contention, here’s a couple of guys that are there and take one out.’”
Faber has gone 1-0-0 since returning from retirement and the fighter is currently ranked #12 in the UFC Bantamweight Division.
The fighter also says the best time to be competing in the UFC Bantamweight Division is right now.
“Everything is coming back together,” Faber said. “This is the time to be in the division if you want to be in the history books. I talk about how exciting it is for me – a guy that’s been 16 years in the game and having fought guys that started at the very beginning of the UFC brand with Jens Pulver, the first ever (UFC lightweight) champ, and you know, fighting guys like Petr. He will fight however long. This can be a long time like the (six) degrees of Kevin Bacon.”
UFC 245 takes place on Saturday, December 14 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.