Urijah Faber knows how combat sports work. You enter, you build your legacy, you get old, you’re used to build the next generation.
He gets it, he understands it and he doesn’t take it personally. All Faber thinks is, as a UFC Hall of Famer, he could be paid a bit if the promotion want to set up their next era off of his back.
“It’s either pay me to fight whoever you want, or I’ll just fight people who sound interesting to me,” Faber said backstage at UFC Vancouver. “I want to talk to Dana about it to be honest – sit down with him and say, ‘Look, there’s a couple of ways this can go: I can not fight again, I could fight big fights, or you can pay me a bunch to fight the new up-and-comers that you want to have me fight’.
“That’s the way I look at it, and for me, I don’t have to fight. I love fighting, I’ve been staying hungry, I’m going to continue to compete regardless. I’m going to do more grappling matches and stay in the gym, so I’ll be ready for anything. Nut no guarantees, really.”
Faber returned to the sport after retirement earlier this year with a win and has already been linked to UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo based on his legacy and name value alone.
For Faber, the title wasn’t the motivating factor for his return, but rather how the sport has changed in the short time he’s been away.
“The biggest thing is the landscape, in my opinion,” Faber said. “The most exciting part about the sport right now is ESPN, about the global expansion, about the other organizations out there. I’m under contract with the UFC, but I’ve heard what organizations are paying across the globe and the sport is just rising and rising. I’m a UFC guy. I want to fight in the UFC, but my contract is four years old. I’d like to rehash things and say, ‘Look, I’d like to be rewarded for it, but let’s have it make sense.”