Recent UFC bantamweight title challenger Urijah Faber was hoping to make his Octagon return in July and has gotten his wish. Faber will square off against talented prospect Alex Caceres at UFC 175 in Las Vegas. It’ll be Faber’s first fight back since his disappointing and somewhat controversial TKO loss to Renan Barao in their title clash at UFC 169.
Many thought that Faber was the victim of a premature stoppage in New Jersey against “The Baron”. While seriously rocked on a couple of occasions, Faber was flashing a thumbs up sign to referee Herb Dean when the bout was halted. It was his second loss to Barao and snapped his four-fight winning streak. Despite that setback Faber remains the No. 1 ranked contender and is hoping to put together another run to earn one more title shot.
The popular Faber is 6-3 in his UFC career with those defeats coming in title fights against Barao and former champ Dominick Cruz. He owns notable Octagon victories over Michael McDonald, Yuri Alcantara, Eddie Wineland and Scott Jorgensen. The former WEC featherweight champ has compiled an impressive 30-7 career record with 17 of those wins having come by way of submission. The 35-year old veteran also possesses some power with seven knockout victories.
The 25-year old Caceres has found his stride of late including registering the biggest win of his career at UFC on FOX 10 against Sergio Pettis. He handed the talented 20-year old his first career defeat by submitting him in the third round. That performance earned Caceres Fight and Submission of the Night bonuses. He’s 4-0 with one no-contest in his last five fights. “Bruce Leeroy” had a victory over Kyung Ho Kang overturned after his post-fight drug test showed traces of marijuana.
It was Caceres who actually got the ball rolling on this matchup by respectfully asking Faber for a fight on Twitter. The veteran was quick to accept the challenge. It’ll be a huge step up in competition for the No.13 ranked Caceres who has 10 victories in 16 career fights.
This is an intriguing matchup between a proven mainstay and a young up-and-comer. Faber will be looking to wash away the bitter taste of his loss against Barao by producing a strong bounce-back performance. Caceres will find out on July 5 whether he is indeed an elite bantamweight or whether he has bitten off more than he can chew.