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Urijah Faber definitely not retiring, in search of 'interesting' fights

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Urijah Faber thought about retirement after UFC 199. For maybe a few seconds.

In reality, hanging up the gloves was never truly a consideration for Faber, even after he fell to Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision in Los Angeles earlier this month. At age 37, "The California Kid" still feels like he's at the top of his game.

"No, I'm not gonna retire," Faber told MMA Fighting on Friday at an appearance at CrossFit South Bay. "[Joe] Rogan asked me the hard questions and I do this to be the best. I feel like [at age] 37 [was] one of the best training camps I've had, period. It was amazing."

Faber (33-9), who was at the gym on behalf of his sponsor Steel Sports, recently added supplements to his nutrition regimen for the first time in his career. Still performing at an elite level, the Team Alpha Male patriarch doesn't feel like there's any reason to depart from the UFC just yet.

"I know I'm right there at the top," Faber said. "I don't know what's next necessarily. I'm gonna chill for a bit. But I'm definitely not done done."

After a break, Faber said he'll come back in search of "interesting" fights. That probably does not mean an encounter with former training partner and protégé T.J. Dillashaw, though. The ex-Team Alpha Male fighter takes on Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. Win or lose, Dillashaw vs. Faber is a fight that has some heat behind it. But Faber doesn't seem to be too intrigued at the moment.

"I'm not necessarily itching for that fight," Faber said. "That's just a bad feeling altogether when I think about that. It makes me more sad than anything. It's not like I'm angry about anything. It's just kind of weird."

Moving back up to featherweight, where Faber once held the WEC title, is a consideration, too. But the new earlier weigh-in procedure spreading throughout the country has Faber not minding bantamweight much.

"With the way they're doing the weigh-in, it wasn't half as bad," Faber said. "But I don't know. I always like to do fights that are interesting. Going up to fight Frankie Edgar, headliner, the first one in the Philippines [last year], that was interesting to me. He's a Hall of Famer, he's a world champion at multiple weights, he's a contender. I like that. I like fighting Dominick Cruz for the world championship, a trilogy. I've done a lot of fights [just] to do them. And I'll do that as well. But I like to try and find stuff that's interesting. Fighting in Sacramento in a new arena, that excites me."

The Sacramento Kings will begin playing in the new Golden 1 Center this coming season. The rumor is that the UFC will hold an event there before the year is out. Faber might as well be Mr. Sacramento, so that's obviously a card he would be on -- if not headlining.

There will likely be more main events and money fights in Faber's future. Maybe not too many more, though. When he does finally decide to retire, Faber will be pretty set. He's always been a savvy businessman with his hand in many different ventures.

"This is something I've always done for the passion," Faber said of fighting. "I mean, my first fight I made $200, $200 to win. It wasn't because I had visions of being super rich. Luckily, the sport has caught up and it's always nice to get paid. But I forget about the paycheck until they put it in your hands. It's about competition, it's about doing what I love. Yeah, I've got a great grasp on business, I've got great relationships, I've got a lot of things I love to do outside of the fight game, but I still have a passion for it and I still feel like I'm one of the best in the world hands down. I have been my entire career. I don't want to stick around too much longer, but I do want to have some big fights."