“The California Kid” has been one of the biggest names south of 155 pounds for well over a decade. With a professional record of 35-11, Faber has fought multiple generations of talent and if fans are lucky, they’ll see him locked in the cage against another top-tier bantamweight.
The Schmo recently caught up with Faber and asked The California Kid about his fighting future.
Faber retired in 2016 after defeating Brad Pickett, then the MMA legend made a comeback in 2019, finishing Ricky Simon. Faber’s last trip to the Octagon came that same year in December when he fought future bantamweight champion Petr Yan. The California Kid lost the fight by third-round KO.
A year and a half later and although Faber hasn’t fought since, he isn’t opposed to the idea of a return. Faber revealed to The Schmo that he is “always game,” however he needs to rehab a dislocated pinky before sitting down with UFC president Dana White to discuss the idea of fighting again.
“If I was going to compete, I would need to get back into Rocky mode and it would take me a couple of months. I just dislocated my pinky unfortunately in practice. I don’t know how long that will take at this point, I can’t make a fist with it,’ Faber said as transcribed by BJPenn.com. “I’m not opposed to getting into a good old fistfight, fun, you get paid, part of your passion. Don’t count the idea out. I’ll have a sitdown with Sean Shelby and maybe Dana White to see if they think it’s a good idea to get back in there. But, I’m always game.”
And for an opponent, The California Kid has someone in mind.
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Faber Expressed Interest in Fighting No. 14-Ranked Bantamweight Marlon Vera
Faber told The Schmo that Marlon “Chito” Vera (17-7-1) is someone he’d like to meet in the middle of the cage. Chito is ranked No. 14 at 135 pounds and is 7-2 in his last nine fights. Faber and Vera have a bit of history as The California coaches one of Chito’s former opponents, Song Yadong. Yadong and Vera fought in a thrilling featherweight bout in 2020 and Yadong took the victory by unanimous decision.
Chito was very vocal after the fight about the judges’ decision, feeling he was robbed of a win. And according to Faber, Vera had some choice words for The California Kid after the fight.
“I fight because I love it, it’s a good time, the entire experience. Not having a crowd, I was definitely not going to fight,” Faber said via BJPenn.com. “Now that the crowds are back, I definitely wouldn’t put it past (me returning). I’ve heard maybe seven or eight guys that have called me out or ask for the fight, some respectfully and some disrespectfully. Chito Vera, he is one of the guys. That would be an interesting matchup.
“It’s funny the whole thing that happened with him and Song Yadong. He was all bent out of shape after that fight, backstage his whole team was ranting and raving,” Faber concluded. “I said ‘guys, you can always do it again.’ He was like ‘well why don’t you fight me then?’ right in front of Song. I go ‘oh you don’t want to fight Song again?’ ‘Oh no, no I do blah, blah.’ But, he hasn’t said a word about Song, you know. That would be a good one though, old Chito Vera.”
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Faber Has Been Unable to Capture UFC Gold
Although The California Kid was one of the most dominant champions in WEC history, he hasn’t been able to earn UFC gold. Faber’s fought four times for a UFC belt. He challenged Dominick Cruz in 2011 and lost by unanimous decision. A year later, The California Kid took on Renan Barao for the interim 135-pound strap and was defeated by unanimous decision.
In 2014, Faber fought Barao again, this time for undisputed gold. He lost by first-round TKO.
The California Kid found himself fighting for a UFC belt for the fourth time two years later, fighting Cruz again and losing by unanimous decision.