UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber will return to the cage in the same arena where he had his retirement bout in 2016.
The 40-year-old former longtime World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion will face Ricky Simon in a bantamweight bout on the UFC Fight Night 155 card at Golden 1 Center on July 13 in his hometown of Sacramento, California.
Faber walked away from the sport after a win over Brad Pickett in the same building in December 2016. He said at the time he wanted to focus on establishing his businesses and potentially start a family.
His fiance Jaslyn gave birth to the couple’s first child in March.
“First off, I’ve been itching for a fight,” Faber said in an interview with former fighter Dan Hardy posted on YouTube this week. “Like, people have just been (expletive) me off just in different ways here and there.
“Plus, I’ve settled a lot of stuff that I needed to slow down to do and I’ve got my baby, which is just a whole new motivation. Then, looking at the landscape, I know I can compete.”
Faber still was ranked in the top 10 at bantamweight when he retired and he believes he can still make a title run. He fell short in each of his four UFC title bouts after joining the organization in 2011.
A women’s bantamweight bout between Germaine de Randamie and rising star Aspen Ladd will headline the card, which will air on ESPN Plus.
Latifi off Stockholm card
Light heavyweight contender Ilir Latifi suffered a back injury and was forced to pull out of Saturday’s scheduled fight against Volkan Oezdemir on the UFC Fight Night 153 card in Stockholm.
The UFC made the announcement Thursday, less than 48 hours before the event.
“Due to a back injury, Ilir Latifi has been forced to withdraw from his Saturday UFC Fight Night bout against Volkan Oezdemir,” a statement read. “The bout will not be replaced, and the card at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe will proceed with 12 bouts.”
The bout was slated to serve as the co-main event to a headlining bout pitting Alexander Gustafsson against Anthony Smith, the last two fighters to lose title bouts to champion Jon Jones.
A light heavyweight bout between Jimi Manuwa and Aleksander Rakic has been elevated to that spot on the card.
The preliminary card will air on ESPN2 at 7 a.m.; the main card will stream on ESPN Plus at 10 a.m.
St. Pierre in WWE?
It appears former two-division champion Georges St. Pierre is done with the UFC, but he’s not ruling out a professional wrestling cameo.
St. Pierrecame out of retirement after four years in 2017 and won the UFC middleweight title, only to vacate it and essentially retire again. He said he was approached by WWE officials at previous ESPYs.
“I had just retired, and, it’s a form of competition, but of course, it’s also scripted, so I don’t know if I’d be willing to relive that,” St. Pierre told TVA Sports this week. “Perhaps for a special event, so I could taste it. But I don’t know if I’d want to sign a contract and do it every week and make it a living. Maybe for a special appearance.”
Romero wins lawsuit
UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero was awarded a $27.45 million dollar judgment by a New Jersey court in his lawsuit against Gold Star Performance Products.
The company produces a supplement that was found to be contaminated with a prohibited substance, causing Romero to be suspended nine months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2016.
Romero is scheduled to face Paulo Costa on the UFC 241 card on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, California.
June 8: UFC Fight Night 153 (ESPN Plus), Stockholm
June 6: Professional Fighters League 14 (ESPN Plus), Uniondale, New York
June 7: Invicta FC 35 (Fight Pass), Kansas City, Kansas
June 8: UFC 238 (ESPN/ESPN Plus PPV), Chicago
June 14: Bellator 222 (DAZN), New York
June 22: Bellator 223 (DAZN), London
June 22: UFC Fight Night 153 (ESPN Plus), Greenville, S.C.