“The California Kid” Urijah Faber has shocked the world by announcing he will be retiring following his UFC On FOX 22 fight against Brad “One Punch” Pickett.
Urijah Faber was a guest on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani where he made the decision to retire. Faber said that he still has a passion for fighting, but his emotions toward fighting has changed now than in the past. Faber would also go on to mention that in his previous fights he has not found that emotional rise or fall and that to him is strange for him. Faber closed it out by saying he already has plans going forward for him as he plans on being a GM for his Team Alpha Male team as well as becoming a scout as well.
At the age of 37 Urijah Faber has really came a long way in his professional fighting career. The California Kid began his professional MMA career in 2003 where fought for promotions like King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge. Within three fights of his professional career Faber would already win his first championship, the KOTC featherweight championship, but his success would not stop there. In March of 2006 Urijah Faber was signed to the WEC and in his debut fight, he won the promotions featherweight championship, starting five fight reign as the promotions champion. Faber lost his featherweight title in an epic fight against Mike Brown at WEC 36 marking the end of his lone title reign with the promotion. A short time thereafter Faber would go on to have fought against Raphael Assuncao, Jose Aldo and Takeya Mizugaki before the UFC came into the fold and bought the WEC.
Once the WEC merged with the UFC the promotion was very high on Faber out of the gate. The UFC announced that Faber would make his UFC debut at UFC 128 in which he defeated Eddie Wineland via unanimous decision and in the process, he earned a bantamweight title fight against his biggest rival Dominick Cruz.
The Faber-Cruz saga was one of the most intense rivalry’s in UFC history. Faber and Cruz shared bad blood over the years and it really kicked off when Faber gave Cruz his first loss back at WEC 26 where he made Cruz tap out. Following his loss to Faber, Cruz would stick in the WEC until the pair met again at UFC 128 where Cruz defeated Faber to win the inaugural UFC bantamweight championship. Faber and Cruz over the next few years will continue to exchange words with each other and even coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter: Live but their trilogy and final fight would not come to UFC 199. In the last fight of the saga Cruz was able to one-up Faber where he defeated Faber via unanimous decision to remain the bantamweight championship. Their UFC 199 bout marked the end of one of the promotions most intense rivalry’s. Cruz won the three fight series 1-2.
The California Kid is stepping into the octagon one last time will be an emotional one for the die hard fans of his. I am personally one of those fans. Urijah Faber has had one hell of an MMA career in which he won multiple championships and holding records for most wins in the UFC bantamweight division with 9, most finishes in the bantamweight division with 6 and most submission victories in the bantamweight division also with 6. Faber will be leaving a legacy in the cage and now he will be passing the torch down to his teammates Cody Garbrandt, Joseph Benavidez, Paige Van Zant among others who he will be coaching going forward.