Urijah Faber is angling for a rubber match with UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, but he’s still keeping an eye on 145 pounds.
Faber has fought, trained with or coached against all the major players at featherweight and admits he was disappointed to see longtime champion Jose Aldo dispatched so quickly by Conor McGregor.
McGregor knocked Aldo out in just 13 seconds during their Dec. 12 main event at UFC 194 to become the undisputed featherweight champion.
“I feel really bad for Aldo,” Faber told Jonathan Shrager of Mixedmartialarts.com.”Conor wasn’t lucky, lucky because obviously he’s trained his butt off to get to the point where he can do that, but it was very unlucky for Aldo. I feel bad for Aldo. I feel like he definitely could have had a better performance or at least showed his stuff a little bit better.
“That’s rough, but you’ve got to be impressed with Conor. The guy put his money where his mouth is. That’s some legendary s**t right there. That’s a legendary thing to do. The build up the way it was with what Conor said and the way he delivered, that’s legendary.”
Aldo finds himself in a unique spot as a former champ, especially one who hadn’t lost in a decade. Aldo was formerly the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but now has to sit and wait to see if McGregor can make history when he challenges lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 197 on March 5.
The Irishman opted to face Dos Anjos rather than defend his title to Frankie Edgar, but Faber believes ‘The Answer’ should be next for McGregor if and when he returns to 145 pounds.
“You can’t deny Frankie,” Faber said. “I think it’s unfortunate for Aldo. I don’t think Aldo needs to fight someone else in order to get a rematch. I don’t think he needs to fight his way back but I think Frankie is the next guy. If I were Aldo I would sit out, heal my head, work on whatever you need to work on and then get that fight again. I wouldn’t fight again [before the rematch], necessarily. I would just wait, heal and get my chance.
“I think he’s earned the right for himself to an immediate rematch but Frankie has earned … I mean he gets snuffed at every corner.”
McGregor didn’t leave much tape to study against Aldo, but Faber believes it will certainly help steer Dos Anjos in a certain direction. Calling Aldo “overly aggressive,” Faber expects the Brazilian champ to work to take the fight to the mat.
“To be honest, Conor has that knockout power and him being bigger he’s going to be even more dangerous, but RDA is no dummy,” Faber said. “I think he’ll probably learn from Aldo’s mistake and he’ll learn from Chad Mendes’ success. I think he’ll try real hard to grapple and make it an ugly fight with Conor.
“If that’s the case it’s going to be a bad day for Conor. Unless Conor makes some big improvements, which I would think and hope as a world champion and student of the sport that he’s wrestling and doing jiu jitsu every day. If he does his homework it’s anybody’s fight.”