5 Things You Might Not Know About Urijah Faber

By Brian Knapp Mar 30, 2020

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Urijah Faber has worn many hats during his mixed martial arts career, including prospect, contender, champion, pioneer, entrepreneur, mentor and legend.

The Team Alpha Male founder made his professional debut on Nov. 13, 2003 and hit the ground running in MMA, as he won his first eight fights and 21 of his first 22. Faber captured championships in multiple organizations, became a trailblazer for lighter-weight fighters and emerged as the poster boy for the fledgling World Extreme Cagefighting organization. The Isla Vista, California, native engaged in multi-fight series with Dominick Cruz, Jens Pulver, Renan Barao and Mike Thomas Brown, all while helping to shine the spotlight on the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Now 40, Faber owns a 35-11 record, with 27 of those 35 victories having come by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

As Faber awaits his next assignment in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, here are five things you might not know about him:

1. Amateur wrestling was his training ground.

Faber wrestled collegiately at the University of California-Davis, where he was a two-time NCAA qualifier (2001-02) and established his base for a successful mixed martial arts career. The school’s wrestling program shuttered its doors in 2011.

2. He has the Midas touch.

“The California Kid” was one of four men who captured the WEC featherweight championship. Brown, Cole Escovedo and Jose Aldo were the others. His reign covered 964 days and included five successful title defenses, as he turned away Cruz, Pulver, Joe Pearson, Chance Farrar and Jeff Curran. Faber also struck gold in the King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge organizations.

3. He prefers strangulation.

All 17 of Faber’s submission victories involved the neck. He has secured nine wins by rear-naked choke, seven by guillotine choke and one by bulldog choke. The Team Alpha Male patriarch’s list of victims includes Cruz, Curran, Pulver, Raphael Assuncao, Takeya Mizugaki, Brian Bowles, Ivan Menjivar, Michael McDonald and Alex Caceres.

4. Nobodies need not apply.

The eight men who have defeated Faber—Cruz (twice), Brown (twice), Barao (twice), Aldo, Tyson Griffin, Frankie Edgar, Jimmie Rivera and Petr Yan—sport a cumulative record of 186-47-1, which equates to nearly an .800 winning percentage.

5. He made his mark statistically.

Faber ranks first on the UFC’s all-time list for bantamweights in total fight time (3:40:33), second in takedowns landed (26), third in total strikes landed (908), fourth in significant strikes landed (665), sixth in knockdowns (five) and seventh in submission attempts (nine).

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