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Retired UFC Hall of Famer Faber mulling return

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Faber considering a comeback to UFC (1:19)

Urijah Faber expresses his desire to come out of retirement and fight again. (1:19)

Urijah Faber, a UFC Hall of Famer who has been retired since 2016, said Monday that he is considering resuming his MMA career.

The 39-year-old former WEC featherweight champion and three-time UFC bantamweight challenger mentioned the possibility of a comeback while appearing Monday on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show to talk about having just become a father for the first time and balancing that with his preparation for a Polaris 8 grappling match on May 25 in Poole, England, against 17-year-old jiu-jitsu phenom Nicky Ryan.

"With the baby in my life, and with the rejuvenation of my body, and seeing why I stood out for so long, it's just really, really tempting," said Faber. "And I'm going to take this time to prepare for this May 25 matchup with one of the best jiu-jitsu players on the planet, to get my body into shape. And I'm going to continue with that and get my body back into [being] a weapon and look for an opportunity to possibly step in if there's something that makes sense."

Faber said he has been thinking about a return for a while, and that last year the UFC twice contacted him to offer fights, both on short notice, against Cub Swanson and Chan Sung Jung.

"I was just so tempted to hop in there because I've been feeling great in practice," he said. "I actually feel like the rest has been a rejuvenating rest. My body feels amazing. My head feels clear. But I don't like to be doing things on a whim."

What got Faber more serious about a comeback were conversations with former UFC middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante and former four-weight world champion boxer Roy Jones Jr., both of whom competed until well into their 40s.

"It was motivating," said Faber.

Then, a day after speaking of his comeback interest to training partners at his Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento, California, Faber saw this tweet from Conor McGregor:

"It's crazy," said Faber. "That guy is maybe a psychic. I don't know what he's thinking, and I don't know if that is the matchup that will happen, or whatever. But he puts it out, with his Mystic Mac mention, and it was tripping me out."

T.J. Dillashaw, who vacated the bantamweight title last week after revealing an "adverse finding" in a pre-fight drug test, began his career as a member of Team Alpha Male but left in 2015 to follow Duane Ludwig, who was being ousted as the team's head coach. This created a rift between Dillashaw and his former training partners, one that played out on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show and in two 135-pound title fights between him and ex-teammate Cody Garbrandt, both of which Dillashaw won by knockout.

Shortly after the first of those fights, in 2017, Faber expressed interest in coming out of retirement to fight Dillashaw. But Dillashaw scoffed at what he called "an easy payday," and the matchup never came to be.

Now Dillashaw is suspended for a year. So a potential grudge match would have to wait.