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Urijah Faber explains surprise UFC on ESPN 8 weigh-in

Urijah Faber
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In Jacksonville, Fla., to support Team Alpha Male fighters Darren Elkins and Song Yadong, it was no surprise to see Urijah Faber at Friday’s UFC on ESPN 8 weigh-ins.

What was surprising was that he stepped on the scale himself.

After all of the scheduled fighters for Saturday’s show weighed in, Faber was brought up to the scale and it was announced that he was checking in as a possible alternate. Faber came in at 153.5 pounds, just under the lightweight limit, which created some confusion as there are no lightweight bouts scheduled for UFC on ESPN 8.

Faber later told ESPN that Song, who hails from China, was dealing with visa issues, though the expectation was that his featherweight bout with Marlon Vera would proceed as scheduled. If not, it’s possible that a short-notice catchweight bout between Faber and Vera could be arranged, though the UFC has given no official word as to what it’s specific plans are for Faber.

The UFC Hall of Famer later offered some clarity on the situation via an Instagram post.

“Had about 12 hours to get my juices flowing, visualization self belief on point (that was about it),” Faber wrote. “Hard to turn down a good time, a tough opponent and a sack of cash... especially on my birthday!”

Faber turned 41 on Thursday. His post seems to imply that Song’s fight with Vera is a go as he added, “So glad I’m sitting on the bench, everyone’s in for a treat Saturday.”

Both Song and Vera are moving up from bantamweight to 145 pounds for this meeting due to the bout coming together on short notice. Song is unbeaten in five UFC appearances so far, while Vera has won five straight, all by knockout or submission.

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