Urijah Faber targeting UFC 181 for his return following rib injury
Former WEC champion Urijah Faber won't be able to fight at UFC Fight Night in Japan due to a lingering rib injury that forced him to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Masanori Kanehara.
According to Faber's manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. who spoke to FOX Sports on Friday, the rib injury is nothing serious, but he's already competed twice with the same ailment and it can definitely affect his performance.
Faber suffered a broken rib in his first fight against Renan Barao at UFC 149 and then fell prey to the same injury in his last bout against Alex Caceres at UFC 175 in July. Faber originally wanted to compete at UFC 177 in his hometown of Sacramento, but the rib injury prevented him from fighting as early as August 30.
With the UFC Fight Night card in Japan taking place just three weeks later, Faber just didn't have enough recovery time to be ready without risking further injury.
Faber being out opened the door for Caceres to accept the fight with Kanehara and the two bantamweights will now battle it out in Japan on September 20.
As for Faber, his manager says he's hopeful for a return to the Octagon by the end of the year and would love a slot on UFC 181 taking place on December 6 from Las Vegas. The card will feature Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in the main event along with a lightweight title bout pitting Anthony Pettis against Gilbert Melendez.