The recently retired Urijah Faber will be part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Hall of Fame class in 2017.
It was announced during the UFC 210 pay-per-view broadcast that “The California Kid” will be inducted into the “Modern Era” wing during a ceremony on July 6 during International Fight Week in Las Vegas. The “Modern Era” wing is for all fighters who made their professional debut after Nov. 17, 2000, when the Unified Rules of mixed martial arts were implemented. B.J. Penn and Forrest Griffin are currently the only two fighters in the category.
“As a fighter, you don’t take time to sit back and smell the roses when you are going through your career,” Faber said in a release. “You’re always looking to the future, the next fight, the next camp, the next training session. To have UFC tell you that what you contributed and accomplished over the course of your career is worthy of being remembered for years to come is humbling. I’m so honored. It’s crazy that for so much of my career everyone said I was naïve to think I’d ever get the chance to fight in UFC, and now I’m going to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. It’s going to be a special night for me, my family, friends and teammates in July when I am inducted.”
Faber made his professional debut in 2003 and eventually established himself as a pioneer of sorts for the lighter weight classes. The Team Alpha Male founder became one of the most popular fighters in the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting promotion en route to capturing the organization’s 145-pound title.
Faber joined the UFC in 2011 after the WEC closed its doors and spent most of his Octagon tenure competing at bantamweight. While he never captured gold in the Las Vegas-based promotion, he was always near the top of the contender’s list, coming up short in title bouts on four different occasions.
Faber compiled a 34-10 career mark and owns notable triumphs over the likes of Dominick Cruz, Bibiano Fernandes, Jens Pulver, Raphael Assuncao, Eddie Wineland, Michael McDonald, Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen, to name a few. He retired following a decision triumph over Brad Pickett at UFC on Fox 22 in Sacramento on Dec. 17.
“Urijah Faber has been one of the most charismatic MMA stars to have ever stepped into the Octagon and I’m excited to announce him as the first inductee of the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2017,” UFC President Dana White said. “From his early days as a featherweight champion, to his decade-long career with UFC, he has made a lasting impact on the sport of MMA. He proved that the smaller weight classes could create big stars and put Sacramento on the map by building one of the strongest camps in the sport, where he coached some of the most talented athletes in the world. His legacy will continue with this next chapter as one of the best athletes to ever compete in the sport.”