After submitting the tough Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen in back-to-back fights, you'd think Urijah Faber would be in line for a high-profile type of bout.
Instead, Faber will face Yuri Alcantara at Fox Sports 1 1 in Boston later this summer. Speaking to MMA Junkie's Matt Erickson, "The California Kid" admits it's a tough predicament.
"The hard part on my side is, nobody knows who the heck he is and there's nothing really to gain," Faber said. "He's ranked No. 13 in the (UFC) rankings, and I'm ranked No. 3."
Faber admitted that he couldn't peg a face to the name when told about his future opponent but does give the Brazilian credit for being a tough fighter.
"...I remember seeing the guy fight, and he's very tough," Faber said. "It's a dangerous fight in a lot of ways for me, but that's where I'm at in my career – where I'm not necessarily gaining a ton from this fight other than the fight itself."
Indeed, Faber finds himself in quite a pickle.
He's too good to be a big name used to build up younger stars yet clearly can't reach the mountain top in the UFC. Faber is 0-2 in UFC title fights but sports an undefeated record when a belt isn't on the line. Despite being in a tough place, Faber is attempting to put a positive spin on things.
There wasn't much out there for me. So I can just be thankful I have a fight – I get paid when I have a fight, my name's out there when I have a fight, I get to do what I love when I have a fight. So as long as I approach it like that – the thing to gain here is another win on my record and one step closer to getting that belt, which is my goal, and putting on a great show for the fans. That's what this means.
I would've liked to have seen a rematch with Faber and Eddie Wineland, as the two men are the top contenders in the division and Wineland's scheduled title fight fell through. Alcantara is a dangerous fighter that possesses not only a BJJ black belt but some devastating power as well (he KO'd featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas at WEC 53).
Ultimately, it's good for everyone involved as long as Faber doesn't relax in training camp and stays with this mindset. Faber gets paid and can add to his resume for challenging either Dominick Cruz or Renan Barao upon their respective returns, Alcantara gets the chance to propel himself into title contention and UFC fans get to see what could be a great fight on free TV.