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Urijah Faber says fight with Raphael Assuncao 'isn't that exciting to me'

Maxx Wolfson

Veteran Urijah Faber is the first to acknowledge he's in an odd spot in the UFC's bantamweight division.

"It's a little weird right now when you look at the list," the former WEC featherweight champion told

At the top of the list, of course, is champion T.J. Dillashaw, who trains at Faber's Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento. Former champion Dominick Cruz will be Dillashaw's next opponent.

Faber is ranked No. 3 behind Dillashaw and Cruz. Directly underneath him is Rafael Assuncao. But Faber indicated that a bout with Assuncao isn't the most intriguing fight to him.

"Fighting Raphael Assunaco isn't that exciting to me," said Faber, who defeated Assuncao at featherweight in the WEC in 2010. "I have nothing against him, he's a good guy and a good fighter. I just think there are other challenges out there that could be better for me."

Faber was scheduled to face Masanori Kanehara in Japan on Sept. 20, but had to pull out due to a rib injury. He's back up and running in the gym and waiting on his marching orders from the UFC.

But a glimpse at the rankings show no real obvious path. Faber has wins over the fighters ranked from 4-7 by the UFC: Assuncao, Michael McDonald, Takeya Mizugaki and Iuri Alcantara.

"I mean, if Assuncao was a fight the UFC wanted, I wouldn't say no to it," Faber said. "I've never said no to any fight the UFC has asked of me. It's not a fight I'd lobby for. Right now I'm willing to wait and see what comes up."

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