UFC News: Latest Buzz on Urijah Faber, Henry Cejudo Fight, More

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIApril 9, 2020

Petr Yan, left, fights Urijah Faber in a mixed martial arts bantamweight bout at UFC 245, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

James Braddock was 30 when he became known as "Cinderella Man" for defeating heavyweight champion Max Baer in 1935 following a lengthy boxing layoff during the Great Depression.

At 40, former UFC star Urijah Faber told MMA Junkie Radio he could follow a similar path and is considering another return to the Octagon:

"I'm definitely not against it. Especially with all this stuff going on, I feel like this could be a ... 'Cinderella Man' scenario where people need to fight to put food on the table. I've been a guy who has been fairly intelligent about funding retirement and making decent investments. But you have no idea what the landscape is going to look like, and for people who have jobs and are able bodied and have the means to make a living, it might be a super valuable thing to be able to go out there and compete."

Of course, Faber has a much longer history of success than Braddock did. He is 35-11 in his UFC career and was once the most feared fighters in the world. That might not be the case anymore, though. His most recent comeback attempt ended via a third-round knockout courtesy of Petr Yan in December 2019.

The Hall of Famer is not ready for that to be the last memory of his fighting days, though Faber conceded he'd have to start training like Rocky, raw egg-drinking included.

As for who he'd face, the California native said UFC had offered "a bunch of different fights" before the coronavirus pandemic began changing the sport's landscape. Pedro Munhoz and Frankie Edgar were both mentioned. Faber wasn't opposed to facing either.

Until he steps into the Octagon, nothing is certain, but Faber isn't afraid to put his name out there and see what comes of it.

"With all the indecisiveness that is going on in the world, I feel fortunate be able to go out and do something that focuses my time and attention most of my life to be one of the best at," he said. "So, you know, opportunity could knock."

Whether or not that means Faber will get a shot at joining the card for UFC 250, there's already one fighter scheduled for the event he'd be happy to meet: Henry Cejudo.

The featherweight champ was supposed to face Jose Aldo, but the spread of COVID-19 has forced the Brazilian to withdraw from the fight, according to Combate (h/t Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania).

Faber might not be ready for that level of competition at the moment. Fortunately for Cejudo, there are plenty of others willing to step up.

Frankie Edgar started chirping at Cejudo on Wednesday via social media, and the champ was all too happy to respond on Instagram shortly after:

Frankie Edgar @FrankieEdgar

Hey @HenryCejudo if Aldo can't make it to the show you know I’m game. I ain’t bending any knees but I might put my foot in your ass.

Edgar (22-8-1) has lost three of his last four bouts, with his most recent fight against Chan Sung Jung ending in a first-round knockout.

Dominick Cruz also expressed interest in facing Cejudo, and reports indicate he will be the man to replace Aldo on May 9.

The 35-year-old is 22-2 and coming off his first loss since 2007—to Faber of all people. While he hasn't been in a UFC event since a December 2016 unanimous decision in favor of Cody Garbrandt, he said he would be willing to get himself ready if the opportunity presented itself.

"I'll always take a fight with the title," Cruz said via ESPN's Ariel Helwani. "You always slide in there and take the title shot if it's there."


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.