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Urijah Faber's advice to Conor McGregor: 'Stay away from boxing'

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Like the rest of us, Urijah Faber hasn't been been able to escape the never-ending chatter about a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight.

And while few believe such a matchup will ever happen, Faber has a bit of advice for the UFC featherweight champion anyway: Don't do it.

Faber, who meets Dominick Cruz in a trilogy fight for the UFC bantamweight title on Saturday night at UFC 199, took a break from his back-and-forth banter with Cruz at Thursday's press conference to say McGregor shouldn't waste the prime of his career even thinking about boxing.

"Stay away from boxing, Conor." Faber said. "Not that he can't do great over there, but this is a sport he loves, this is a sport he's been training for."

Faber has accepted fights against some lesser lights on the road back to a title shot, and with his time winding down on his fight career, he wants to maximize his time left in the spotlight.

"I've been in this sport a long time," Faber said. "I've fought the guys that didn't do anything for me, didn't move the needle a bit, people weren't excited for it, I was having trouble getting excited for it, I've fought those guys because that's what was given to me. I've never turned down a fight, I've never pushed away a fight, I want the fights that matter, and I don't know what that timetable is. But

Ideally, that would be a win over Cruz, followed by a superfight with McGregor, his former Ultimate Fighter coaching adversary.

"I've told the UFC brass I want big fights, fights that are going to put money in their pockets and money in my pockets and staple me as one of the best of all-time," Faber said. "Beating Dominick Cruz is a step in that direction, but it's just the beginning."

Faber believes McGregor's loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 showed things on which he'll be able to capitalize, should such a fight come to pass.

"I actually like Conor," Faber said. "He's got a mouth on him, I love talking back and forth with him, he's got some wit about him, he's got a weakness for Northern California fighters and he's got a weak submission game, we know that."