UFC on ESPN+ 13 Preview

ufc-espn+13Comebacks are always great stories and at UFC on ESPN+ 13 there will be two comebacks that not many were sure would happen.

Germaine de Randamie and Urijah Faber left the octagon for very different reasons with Faber retiring and De Randamie never officially left but has been inactive.

Faber was one of the building blocks of MMA as the biggest name in WEC and one of the most recognizable faces in the sport.

He was the California Kid who helped the sport to get as big as it became and when the UFC signed him he was on his way to getting only bigger.

In his time with the UFC he was always a part of the conversation but he was never able to grab the title that he had wanted in the UFC.

Still, he went out as one of the greatest lighter weight fighters in the history of the sport and he moved on to managing his factory of light weight fighters.

Team Alpha make has long been a place that makes some of the best lighter fighters in the world and Faber was set to grow and continue to develop that in his retirement.

But he fell into that familiar story of former fighters who just can’t seem to live in a world without that routine of fighting every few months.

Faber last fought in MMA in 2016 when he beat Brad Pickett by unanimous decision but that win came after losing two straight.

The end of his career read like most other great fighters as he just seemed to be getting passed by younger and more athletic fighters.

It was time for him to step away but he got bit by the bug and will now make his return to the octagon.

There will be many that hope that this return is not like so many before where he comes in against rising stars and simply can’t hang.

It has been seen with fighters like BJ Penn who make their return but can’t win against those younger and more athletic fighters.mma-sidebar.fw

Faber gets one of those in Ricky Simón who is riding an eight-fight win streak including his last two since entering the UFC.

It is going to be a tough thing for Faber to overcome an almost three-year layoff and face one of the rising stars in the UFC.

If he can do it the path to the title in the bantamweight division opens up but if he can’t things could just end up like that familiar story of a fighter not knowing when to quit.

Although she did not retire and won’t be facing as big of a layoff, de Randamie is making another return to the octagon in the main event.

de Randamie was on top of the women’s MMA world in 2017 when she beat Holly Holm for the vacant featherweight title.

The Dutch fighter came out of almost nowhere to fight for the title but as she rose through the ranks a division was created that fit her perfectly.

She took advantage and won the title but that win didn’t come without some controversy as twice in the fight de Randamie landed some significant blows after the bell between rounds.

Even though she fought well some even believed she had lost the fight to Holm leading to only more controversy.

After the fight, there was a significant question lingering though as the division was created for Cris Cyborg and as soon as de Randamie won the title she was asked what’s next.

There was only one answer but de Randamie began talking about injuries that she needed to take care of which then led to a year and a half off.

She was seen as someone ducking her next real challenge and after a controversial win, it was assumed that she knew she couldn’t win.

Her time off has led many to forget about all of the controversy surrounding her and with only one fight in the last two years, she has work to do to get back.

She will try to gain some of that hype back against a young rising star in the bantamweight division after beating Raquel Pennington in her return last November.

She will take on Aspen Ladd who has never lost in the UFC and continues to make a name for herself in the division.

Both de Randamie and Faber will be looking to prove that they still have it against two young rising stars looking to put big names in their win column.


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