UFC 175: 3 Fights for Urijah Faber to Take Next

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

UFC 175: 3 Fights for Urijah Faber to Take Next

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    UFC bantamweight staple Urijah Faber got back to his winning ways with a submission victory over Alex Caceres in the main event of the preliminary card Saturday at UFC 175.

    Faber bounced back from a TKO loss to Renan Barao in a bantamweight title fight at UFC 162 by cinching up a fight-ending rear-naked choke on the 11th-ranked "Bruce Leeroy" early in the third round.

    "The California Kid" has suffered just three losses in the UFC (each of which were title fights) and has prevailed in five of his last six outings. 

    Even though teammate T.J. Dillashaw holds the belt at 135 pounds, the 35-year-old Faber will continue his quest for bantamweight gold in the coming months.

    Here are three intriguing fights for Faber to consider next.

Raphael Assuncao

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    He's a bit closer to a title shot than Faber, but the third-ranked Raphael Assuncao seems destined to meet The California Kid again in the near future.

    Faber represents one of four fighters who have handed Assuncao a setback and the only fighter to submit him.

    Assuncao, conversely, is the last man to defeat bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw, doing so in a controversial split decision at UFC Fight Night 29. 

    With Dillashaw slated to face Renan Barao in a rematch at UFC 177, Assuncao, who beat Pedro Munhoz in his last fight at UFC 170, will have to wait for his shot at the belt.

    In the meantime, Assuncao could take out the division's second-ranked fighter, settle a score and secure a title shot with a win over Faber.

Bryan Caraway

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Eighth-ranked bantamweight Bryan Caraway has momentum on his side, and if he's going to take a risk against a top-flight bantamweight, he should do it now.

    A solid grappler who's improved greatly in the stand-up department since his time on The Ultimate Fighter, Caraway has won four of his first five bouts in the UFC, with his lone setback coming against the streaking Takeya Mizugaki.

    Most importantly, Caraway represents the highest-ranked bantamweight who has yet to square off with Faber, a fact that makes the former Central Washington University wrestler a logical choice for Faber next.

Johnny Eduardo

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    Like Bryan Caraway, the ninth-ranked Johnny Eduardo must capitalize on his new-found momentum.

    Eduardo rebounded from a unanimous-decision loss to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 134 by notching two straight wins, the second of which was a brutal KO of the sixth-ranked Eddie Wineland at UFC Fight Night 40.

    Eduardo's KO of Wineland happened just two months ago, but because of a rash of injuries, it was the Brazilian's first fight in two years.

    Expect Eduardo to get back in the Octagon soon, and don't be surprised to see him pitted against a top-five bantamweight like Faber.