Perennial title challenger Urijah Faber will begin his next campaign against Alex ‘Bruce Leeroy’ Caceras at UFC 175 in Las Vegas on July 5th.
Faber was last seen in the Octagon at UFC 169 back in February where he suffered a disappointing first round TKO loss to Renan Barao in his third unsuccessful attempt to get his hands on the UFC bantamweight title.
Despite coming up short once again, Faber’s knack for beating almost everybody except whoever holds the belt still leaves him sitting as the No.1 contender in the division, and for that reason his next opponent may raise a few eyebrows.
At this moment in time Caceras is only ranked No.13 in the division, but he is undefeated in his last five fights and appears to have made signficant improvements to his all-round MMA game in the past couple of years as he continues to mature as a fighter.
It’s a huge step up in class for Caceras though, so why did the UFC decide to go down this route?
The main reason is simply that Faber has already and fought and beaten many of the guys below him in the rankings, while the few he hasn’t already have fights scheduled.
It also makes sense for the UFC to slow Faber down a little – if they put him in against a top contender then he could be banging on the door of yet another title shot again soon and it’s just too soon for that.
Fighting lower ranked guys like Caceras for now keeps him busy and probably the hope is that at some stage down the line his old rival Dominick Cruz also gets back into the Octagon and starts winning fights so they can finally make that grudge match.
On the other hand, if Caceras produces an upset and defeats Faber then that’ll give him a massive boost and the UFC will potentially have a new bantamweight star on their hands.
At this rate UFC 175 could end up being the most stacked card of the year with a middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida headlining, while a female bantamweight title encounter featuring Ronda Rousey Vs Alexis Davis is installed as the co-main event and TUF Brazil 3 coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will also settle their differences on the main card.