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UFC on FOX 22: Urijah Faber to retire after bout with Brad Pickett

UFC on FOX 22 will mark 37-year-old Urijah Faber’s (33-10-0) last professional bout.

The California native revealed yesterday he will hang up the gloves win, lose, or draw after welcoming England’s Brad Pickett (25-12-0) to Sacramento Dec.17.

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Faber’s first pro bout was in November 2003.  Long-time fight fans will remember his dominant run as WEC featherweight champion, his fights with Jens Pulver, Jose Aldo and rivalry with current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

Faber’s talents extended outside of the octagon to business to Team Alpha Male, a group of fighters he founded in 2004, that produced UFC fighters Joseph Benavidez, Chad Mendes, Paige VanZant and former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.

He also wrote an introspective book, The Laws of the Ring. sharing his his life lessons and philosophies on fighting, including the “36 Laws of Power.”

Perhaps what most will remember is that Faber was one of the first exciting smaller fighters to watch. His charisma helped become the face of smaller fighters as a result for a long time, and he backed it up with every fight. While he didn’t win a UFC belt, he was recognized as the world champion when he held the WEC belt for a featherweight weight class the UFC did not have until a merger with the WEC in 2010.

But Pickett will not be standing still.  “One Punch” is 38 years old and turned pro a single year after Faber. This is a great opportunity for him to play the spoiler in “The California Kid’s” last fight. Not to mention redeeming himself for the first-round loss to Luri Alcantara at UFC 204.

It should prove to be an emotional moment, as fans will wave goodbye to one of its ambassadors.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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