Earlier this week we reported that potential opponents for Urijah Faber were running low, but the UFC have managed to rustle him up a new one in the shape of Francisco Rivera who he’ll now fight at UFC 181 in December.
Faber is coming off a third round submission victory over Alex Caceras at UFC 175 in July, his first fight since losing out for a second time to Renan Barao in his latest title shot attempt back in February.
That was ‘The California Kid’s’ only loss in his last six fights and leaves him still placed No.3 in the bantamweight rankings overall at this time.
On the other hand, Rivera is coming off a loss to Takeya Mizugaki back in May, which brought an end to a four-fight winning streak for him in the Octagon and places him at No.11 on the official 135lb rankings.
It’s a little odd that Faber stated recently that he wasn’t motivated to seek a fight the fourth ranked Raphael Assuncao who’s on a seven fight winning streak, but he is happy to take on the 11th ranked Rivera who’s coming off a loss.
Admittedly, he has already defeated Assuncao in the past at featherweight four years ago when they met in the WEC, but a lot has happened since then and it would undoubtedly be a more meaningful fight than the one he now has lined up.
It could well be that Faber is just trying to keep things ticking over while waiting for a chance to fight his old rival Dominick Cruz, which could happen in 2015 regardless of whether ‘The Dominator’ wins or loses in his big to reclaim his title against current champion TJ Dillashaw.
Either way, Faber Vs Rivera now adds to a strong looking UFC 181 line-up that currently features a welterweight title rematch between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, plus a further lightweight title clash between TUF 20 coaches Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez in the co-main event slot.