“The California Kid” could be “The Comeback Kid” soon.
Retired since December 2016, Faber (34-10) has never been far removed from the MMA world that he starred in for many years. He remains the boss of Team Alpha Male, a camp that has several fighters currently signed to the UFC and other major promotions, and can still be seen on broadcasts cornering his teammates.
With the UFC scheduled for a July 13 stop in Sacramento, the city where Faber’s gym is based, it’s only natural that Faber would feel that itch to compete again and he admitted as much in a recent post on Instagram:
“I know my baby is keeping me young,” Faber wrote. “But a good ‘ole fist fight could help the cause.”
During an appearance on on Monday, Faber elaborated on the comeback talk and assured host Luke Thomas that fighting again is a distinct possibility.
“It’s very serious,” Faber said. “No one really gets to see the behind-the-scenes of what goes on when events are being put together or anything like that and throughout my time being retired I’ve been offered fights on a couple of different occasions and learned my lesson if I’m starting to get tempted or thinking about it just to get myself in good shape. I’ve always stayed in the gym obviously being with the team and helping to mentor the guys. Training all year round, so probably over the last six months given it a little more consideration after being offered a couple of short-notice fights and I’m like, ‘Man, that’s kind of tempting.’
“The reason I retired in the first place is just because I wanted to. I felt like it, feeling like, ‘If I’m thinking about it, it may be the time.’ The same reason why I’m thinking about coming back out and taking a fight. It sounds like fun, a little F.O.M.O., I know at my age I do really well against the guys still and if I’m gonna do it, you don’t want to wait longer. I just turned 40, which is crazy, I kind of teased that once I did turn 40 I’d like to challenge myself, kind of lifehack and do some fights, I got the new baby. Some names have been thrown out there for opponents and it’s real possible.”
Asked when he feels like he’ll make a final decision on coming back, Faber replied, “Pretty soon.”
The former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion and four-time UFC title challenger isn’t exactly resting on his laurels either way. Next up for Faber is a grappling match with 17-year-old jiu-jitsu prodigy Nicky Ryan at Polaris 10 this Saturday in Poole, England (the show will air live on UFC Fight Pass).
While Faber could not provide more immediate details on his plans, he was willing to answer questions about struggling Alpha Male star Cody Garbrandt. The former UFC bantamweight champion has been plagued by inactivity over the last couple of years and a brutal slump that has seen him knocked out in a trio of of high-profile bouts.
Responding to speculation that Garbrandt may also return at UFC Sacramento, Faber said that he agrees with Garbrandt’s manager Ali Abdelaziz that the 27-year-old may simply need time to get his mind and body right before competing again.
“I think step one just getting healthy. That’s been kind of a big battle for Cody as of the last couple of years, staying healthy,” Faber said. “And you can probably see by following on social media that he hasn’t necessarily been 100 percent or been in practices. So step one is get yourself feeling 100 percent and then make the decision that you’re going to put in the hours and be able to physically put in the hours to prep and get yourself where you need to be.
“Cody being a young guy that’s got all the talent in the world just needs to make those decisions himself and also gauge his body himself. Absolutely, I think that’s a good idea from what Cody’s been telling me. It’s not a smart move at the moment.”