The announcement of Urijah Faber's upcoming fight against Alex Caceres at UFC 175 was greeted, in large part, by surprise from fight fans who are used to seeing the former WEC champion test his skills against known, top-ranked commodities.
But the one man who wasn't surprised was "The California Kid" himself.
"I've fought everyone in the top-10 except for T.J. Dillashaw, who's fighting for the title [at UFC 173] and the guy that he just beat, "The Hulk," Mike Easton," Faber said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
"Those are the only two guys in the top-10 that I haven't fought, and Caceres has been on a five-fight win streak. He was busted for smoking weed or something like that so they say it's 4-0, but he's really 5-0. And he's ranked No. 13. In my opinion, he's kind of the guy who stands out."
Caceres' current five-fight unbeaten streak has quietly grown into one of the best the UFC bantamweight division has to offer, while the 25-year-old's stock received a major boost from his most recent outing -- an impressive third-round submission over Sergio Pettis, the previously undefeated younger brother of lightweight champ Anthony Pettis.
In doing so, Caceres silenced his critics once more and showed that the man they call "Bruce Leeroy" has evolved significantly since losing three of his first four fights upon entering the UFC as a polarizing cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 12.
"I'm a big fan of The Last Dragon, Bruce Leroy and Sho'nuff, that's one of my favorite movies growing up. So I've always kept my eye on the guy," Faber said of Caceres.
"The one thing that's always stood out about him is the guy is always smiling, he's always happy. And that's usually a good ingredient for success."
Even still, there's no denying that Caceres presents a significant downgrade from Faber's past four opponents, all of whom are or were ranked within the UFC's top-10 at some time.
Though for Faber, a veteran who's a perfect 14-0 in WEC/UFC non-title fights since 2007, any lack of motivation is never a problem.
"Here's the deal," Faber said. "I'm going to approach this like someone's picking a fight with me. Like I was out on the street and somebody pushed me here in the shoulder from behind. That's how I'm going to approach this.
"When I face an opponent in the cage, it doesn't really matter who they are. Whether they're my buddy, like Scott Jorgensen, or someone I don't like, like Dominick Cruz, I'm going in there and realizing this guy is trying to hurt me, and that's what I'm going to do to him. I try to keep it real basic."