Urijah Faber has earned his keep.
After securing a second-round submission victory over young contender Michael McDonald this past weekend, "The California Kid" has once again proved he's worthy of fighting for a UFC title.
Three finishes in four straight victories will do that for a veteran of his caliber, especially when you consider how easily persuaded fans are in buying his pay-per-views.
The only minor hiccup for Faber is that the UFC bantamweight championship won't be unified until Super Bowl weekend in February, but the 34-year-old is willing to wait.
"I'd like to take some time off and see what happens with these two guys," said Faber in an interview with MMA Junkie Radio, originally reported by Adam Guillen Jr. of MMA Mania. "I like Barao (to win the fight), but I want to beat up Cruz. So it's a mix there. It didn't happen (with Cruz and I) after ‘The Ultimate Fighter.' It cost us both a lot of money."
Now while most fans would love to see Faber fight Cruz cap off an outstanding trilogy, Barao is as dangerous as they come. Sleeping on him would be the wrong thing to do for anybody, let alone a champion who hasn't competed inside the cage since October of 2011.
In any case, Faber should be the next man in line. He's absolutely destroyed the competition over the last four-and-a-half years, outside of title defeats to Dominick Cruz, Barao and Jose Aldo.
Whenever Faber does get his chance for redemption, UFC fans will most certainly have his back.
For more UFC news and coverage, Follow @DHiergesell
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!