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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Urijah Faber is jumping up to featherweight to fight Frankie Edgar in May, and the longtime UFC bantamweight said this weekend that he feels he's in a unique position in the sport to have an opportunity like that.
"You know what, there's only certain people in this sport that are in the position that I'm in, where I can go up to a weight, and go back down to a weight and be able to fight the top competitors, and I just want to take advantage of that," Faber said in an interview with Submission Radio. "Frankie's a legendary fighter, he's a former world champion, I'm a former world champion, and I just want a challenge; and I feel like I can't wait around all day for Dominick Cruz to heal up. The guy is kind of fragile and this is a fight that I've been kind of wanting for a long time, and I feel like it almost happened a couple of times but the stars didn't align, and at this point it's like it's a kind of a dream matchup for myself and I'm sure for Frankie and for the fans for sure."
After the matchup with Edgar, Faber believes there are options available to him outside of a run at the Bantamweight Title, which is currently held by his friend and teammate T.J. Dillashaw. At the top of his list is the idea of a fight with Conor McGregor, one Faber would happily take on McGregor's home turf.
"If I could get another shot at 145 [lbs.] or even I feel like a fight with McGregor is a big fight right now. I'd do that in a heartbeat," Faber said. "If he wants to go to Ireland, I'll be the heel in Ireland in front of 90,000 folks. Either way I’m good for anything. I'm just going to take it one fight at a time, I have a huge task in front of me. I'm fighting a legend and one of the top fighters pound for pound in the world in my opinion, Frankie Edgar, and I'm looking forward to that."
"I like his fighting style, he's got a great fighting style. We haven't really seen him, especially with his grappling. His grappling seems pretty good though. I don't know how he'd deal against a great wrestler, but he definitely has some great movement, some great stand up. As far as personality goes, I think he's a good guy. I don't think he's being fake which I like. You know there's guys that talk a big talk and are being a character, but they're not being real, and I feel like that's really who he is, and I think that's fine. He believes in himself, he's got quick wit. You know, I'll do some dancing with the guy if it ever gets to that, but I enjoy it. I think he's good."
Penick's Analysis: Faber is still good enough to compete with any fighter the UFC wants to book him against at bantamweight or featherweight. It's a valuable talent because his string of title losses leaves the UFC a bit weary of booking him for the belt, but they can use him for big fights that seem fun enough and can still have meaning like they are with Edgar here. If McGregor were to lose to Jose Aldo, the UFC could head right back to Ireland with McGregor-Faber in a heartbeat and it would be an excellent main event for FS1 from overseas. I don't know that it will be the path they take, but it's absolutely an option.
[Urijah Faber art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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