LAS VEGAS - The decision makes perfect business sense. It just looks really weird.
Urijah Faber said he asked to fight on the UFC 175 prelims on Fox Sports 1 instead of the main card on pay-per-view.
"I'd rather have exposure, and the Fox Sports 1 card will get probably twice as many viewers as the pay-per-view," Faber said Thursday. "So if you look at it from my standpoint, being a business owner, being a brand myself, and wanting people to watch the fight, I asked for that position."
Faber owns a chunk of Torque, an MMA apparel company, and is a minority stakeholder in Memory Tag, an app that lets users add video to postcards and other similar items in social media.
Faber, the No. 2-ranked bantamweight in the UFC, will fight No. 12 Alex Caceres in Saturday's prelims at Mandalay Bay. It will be the first time Faber has ever been on a prelim bout under the Zuffa banner.
The UFC would not confirm that Faber requested that slot on the card but did admit it makes a lot of sense for someone with Faber's star power to compete on the FS1 prelims' main event.
Before the UFC absorbed World Extreme Cagefighting at the end of 2010, "The California Kid" was the face of the smaller organization. He headlined the WEC's first pay-per-view against Jose Aldo. He has been a fixture on the main card his entire career thanks to a combination of his fighting and his personality.
He was a major star as featherweight champion in the WEC, and that carried over to the UFC. Now, he's just a prelim guy -- only, not really.
"You just have to understand strategy," Faber said. "You look at the open workouts, it was the two main events and me. So it's not like they're trying to shun me in any way. It's me asking to get more exposure for myself."
Faber received as solid a reception from fans at the Fashion Mall for Wednesday's open workouts as did middleweight champion Chris Weidman, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and opponents Lyoto Machida and Alexis Davis.
"The diehard fans are gonna watch the pay-per-view, they're also gonna watch my fight," Faber said. "The casual fan is gonna maybe watch the pay-per-view but probably watch my fight. The person at a bar that has the fight on is gonna watch the fight. The guy who's too cheap to buy the pay-per-view is gonna watch my fight. So it makes sense."
Makes perfect sense. Just not on paper.