The fighter who is largely responsible for lighter weight fighters making their way to UFC has announced he will be retiring shortly. Urijah Faber went on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani this afternoon and announced that his upcoming fight with Brad Pickett at UFC on Fox from Sacramento on Dec. 17 will be his last.
“I’ve been teetering with it for a long time,” Faber told Helwani during the interview. He said that he normally wouldn’t have taken the fight on such a quick turnaround but fighting on the Sacramento card was the right move to make under these circumstances.
Faber sounded at peace with the decision, saying he was looking for another crack at Dominick Cruz, which he got in June, and noted the success and potential upcoming title shot for teammate Cody Garbrandt. “It’s a perfect time for me to make an exit and work on building this team… I want to go out with a massive win against a great opponent in my hometown.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s commendable for Faber to go out on his own terms when he’s a big enough name to stick around and make some money fighting other name fighters at either 135 or 145. He seems to recognize that his championship opportunities are probably dried up at this point. Faber has always being very gracious in putting his teammates over and getting them opportunities and stepping aside all together is the ultimate gesture.
Faber is a true pioneer in this sport, as his success and popularity in WEC is largely responsible for the 135 and 145 pound divisions being brought into the UFC. UFC was high enough on him that they even ran a PPV under the WEC banner with him against Jose Aldo, the only time UFC has promoted an event on PPV outside the official UFC brand.
With this news, it really should be the main event with the show being on Fox free over the air in Faber’s hometown. Even if they don’t make the change, it will make for a can’t miss show that will likely provide one of the most memorable moments of the year.