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Legendary MMA fighter Urijah Faber to retire after UFC on FOX 22

In 2003, Urijah Faber won his first major bout at GC 20: Gladiator Challenge 20 against Jay Valencia. After a 33-10 record, “The California Kid” will have one more fight left in him. Faber announced on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour and was later confirmed on MMA Fighting that he will have his last fight on December 17th at UFC on FOX 22 in his hometown of Sacramento, California.


Faber will fight Brad Pickett (25-12) in what is sure to be an emotional bout. As he hangs up his gloves, he does so inside the newly opened Golden 1 Center. That was the main takeaway from his talk with Helwani earlier today in the surprise announcement. He felt as though it was the right time to pass the baton to the newest crop of fighters coming up. Once December 17th ends, the 37-year old hopes to have a managerial role within his Sacramento-based crew “Team Alpha Male”. Members of that group include Cody Garbrandt, Chad Mendes and Paige VanZant.

In regards to his last fight, Faber stated:

“I haven’t found that emotional rise or fall. That is kind of a strange thing for me. I still love what I’m doing and that’s the reason why I’m doing it, but I just feel like this is going to be something that’s going to be an emotional thing for me, it’s going to be a passion thing. I’m going to train my butt off, and I just feel like right now is the right time.”

One of the most dominant featherweight champions of all time, Faber was a one-time WEC Featherweight Champion, holding it from 2006-2008. His dominance continued when he moved to the bantamweight division in the UFC. While he never won a title in the UFC, he did win a number of high profile fights and was one of the pioneers in making MMA popular around the world.

Brad Pickett talked with Ariel Helwani immediately after the news and stated that he was honored in regards to the opportunity. Both should be able to give all they have in Faber’s final hoorah.

While some may try, there will never be another fighter like Urijah Faber. At UFC on FOX 22, emotions will run wild for Faber, his friends and his family. Here’s hoping he has some tricks left up his sleeve (or in this case, glove).

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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