MMA legend, Urijah Faber, decided to hang up the gloves on an illustrious career after he picked up a unanimous victory over fellow veteran, Brad Pickett, at The Golden 1 Centre in Sacramento.
“The California Kid” has now collected the final win of his exalted career. Although, the 37-year-old still looked to have plenty of gas left in the tank, he decided that now was the right time. Faber was welcomed into The Golden 1 Centre with a standing ovation from his hometown, and he returned the favour with a flashy fight that the fans will never forget.
“I love doing this, there’s nothing like it in the world, but I am ready to move forward and do some big things” Faber said.
The American has established himself as an MMA legend. He was the former WEC featherweight champion, He has claimed the most finishes in UFC Bantamweight history and he is the only man to ever have beaten current Bantamweight champion and long term rival, Dominick Cruz.
But Faber is much more than just a fighter.
In fact, Faber is the founder of the hugely successful organization, Team Alpha Male. He has paved the way for promising fighters such as Paige VanZant and Cody Garbrandt. And in doing so, Faber has allowed the smaller weigh classes to receive the recognition they deserve. Also, with his acclaimed wrestling abilities Faber pioneered the discipline in the UFC, and it wasn’t long before others quickly followed suit.
Daniel Cormier, the current light heavyweight champion of the world said: “I want to say thank you, from a wrestler, for opening up the doors for more of us to come and do this sport”.
However, Saturday was all about Faber’s final fight.
Faber stayed outside Pickett’s range as he started to pick apart the Londoner with some clever strikes. With perfect timing and precision, a flush left hook dropped Pickett midway through the first. Faber with his experience, remained patient and went to take Pickett’s back. However, Pickett did well to survive and escape the first round.
Early into the second and that left hook caught Pickett once again. However, the brawny Brit recovered and returned with some kicks to the Americans calf. This meant that Faber could trip Pickett and take him to the floor. “The California Kid” almost caught the Englishmen in a fight finishing guillotine choke, but Pickett showed his grit, as once again he escaped to survive round two.
Into the final round and its Faber who remained in-charge. He got the fight to the mat nice and early and began to deal damage to the Brit. Faber threw a barrage of forearms dealing some heavy damage, which allowed him to return to his feet. Pickett took this chance and scored a swift knockdown on Faber, but was unable to capitalise as the American dragged his opponent to the mat in the final moments of the fight, thus earning the unanimous victory.
Faber had the perfect end to a perfect career, as he retired with a professional record of 34-10. He has gifted so much to world of MMA, a manifold of memorable fights, presented opportunities for prolific young fighters and most importantly, he’s always done it with a smile.
Urijah Faber. Thank you.
Written by Toby Clarke