Urijah Faber explains how close he got to fighting Conor McGregor in 2016

by 24USATVAug. 5, 2022, 11 a.m. 14
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UFC veteran Urijah Faber has explained just how close he got to fighting Conor McGregor back in 2016.

In the present day, chasing a fight against Conor McGregor is a pretty common thing to do for most fighters both in and outside of the UFC. Whether it be in the Octagon or a boxing ring, it’s near enough impossible to go 24 hours without someone else calling ‘Notorious’ out.

Of course, we’re nowhere near the prime of the Irishman, which you could argue took place between the years of 2015 and 2016 when he was exploding into superstardom.

During that time he was able to become a two-weight UFC champion and along the way he took on some pretty big names. At UFC 196, arguably most notably, he kickstarted a memorable two-fight series with the one and only Nate Diaz.

However, it so easily could’ve gone differently if Urijah Faber is to be believed.

“Oh man, I wanted that fight. Not because I dislike Conor, I actually love Conor. But that’s the fight. Dana is like hey kid, I know I told you that you weren’t gonna get this fight, but we need you to step in. This is at 155, I’m a 135-pounder, and I’m like, yes. He goes ‘you’re our guy’.

“He’s blowing smoke and I’m like alright, what’s going on? Frankie Edgar was injured, Cowboy was coming off a loss to RDA and so Conor said I’m not fighting him off a loss. Pettis had been injured or he was on a skid, Aldo didn’t want the fight, and then Nate Diaz told him to f*** off.

“Nate says F you and hangs up on them because they wanted him to extend his contract from 40 and 40, they wanted to give him 50 and 50 on like a seven fight deal or something. Then they were gonna pay him a million dollars but it extends his contract.”

“Conor just said I want Diaz.”

Could it have happened?

McGregor and Faber went head to head against one another on The Ultimate Fighter 22 as coaches of their respective teams. There was seemingly never a concrete plan in place for them to fight, which is rarely the case on TUF, but it would’ve been interesting to see how Faber tried to deal with the notable weight disparity.

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