Perhaps it is his advanced age (for a prizefighter, at least) but Urijah Faber appears to have opted for a shortcut to title contention now that he is an active member of the UFC bantamweight division once again. The thing is, it is also perhaps the most difficult path possible.
Faber, 40, has been confirmed to face the 13-1 Russian Petr Yan, a fighter undefeated through his first five UFC bouts, after ending a brief retirement by defeating Ricky Simon via TKO in Sacramento last July. It was Faber’s first fight since his supposed ‘retirement bout’ against Brad Pickett in December 2016, a fight in which he was also victorious.
The Faber vs. Yan bout is slated to take place at UFC 245 on December 14 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
‘The California Kid’ has made no secret of his desire to once again challenge for a UFC championship but in order to obtain what would be a sixth title shot in the UFC (with all five prior ending in defeat to date) but in former ACB champion Yan, he will face a fighter 14 years his junior who has title aspirations of his own.
Yan last fought in June where he was awarded a unanimous decision win against Jimmie Rivera — a fighter who holds a win over Faber — and had laid bare his desire to fight Faber on social media recently.
Old @UrijahFaber is wise enough to not mention my name. Don’t act like you don’t know me California grown man. I beat your student, you are welcome to try avenge his loss https://t.co/2i5WCrGkgg
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) August 19, 2019
Meanwhile, another mixed martial arts legend is reportedly on the verge of being added to the UFC 245 after numerous reports online suggested that the organisation is on the verge of announcing Jose Aldo’s bantamweight debut against former title contender Marlon Moraes. News of the potential bout was first reported by MMA Junkie, who say that verbal agreements are in place ahead of the signing of an official bout agreement.
Aldo last competed in May in a featherweight bout against Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski where he was defeated by unanimous decision while Moraes also took an ‘L’ in his most recent fight, a world title bout against Henry Cejudo.