Urijah Faber returns against Ricky Simon! A fair call?

The California Kid, Urijah Faber, is back to fight for the first time since December 2016. The UFC Hall of Famer will be back in Sacramento, his hometown, to take on Ricky Simon in a bantamweight bout on the July 13 UFC Fight Night card at the Golden 1 Center.

Now 40, Urijah Faber is eager to return to active duty after leaving on a high note with his win over Brad Pickett in December 2016. Following July, he was included into the Hall of Fame. But this summer, Faber will return and try to put an end to Simon’s perfect UFC run.

Sounds like a sweet deal for “The California Kid.” But instead of taking on a cream puff in his first fight since 2016, Faber is going against a promising prospect. Ricky Simon, who is 3-0 in the UFC, enters with a 15-1 overall record.

The question is why wasn’t he given an easy fight on his return?

Faber has kept in shape the past few years, even competed in grappling events. But he’s 40 years old. Is this bout with Simon, who is on an eight-fight win streak, the right matchup?

Urijah Faber has not only been training — he’s been active in grappling competitions. He just came back from England, where he took on a world champion in Polaris. Now that is some serious high-level grappling. Although there aren’t any strikes, but it does show that he’s fit and in shape. This at least is one comeback where a guy says, “I’m ready,” and we know there’s something to it.

There is no harm in a tune-up fight and getting his mojo back. It is a way of giving respect and, also, to warm him up a little bit, no? I thought when he walked away, he did it perfectly. He had businesses, a gym and a team. He wasn’t going to come back.

So him coming back was definitely surprising. It’s a nice story, and a great opportunity for Simon. But if I’m Faber, I won’t love it.