After a decorated 13-year pro MMA career, Urijah Faber is ready to hang up his gloves after his Dec. 17 homecoming bout against Brad Pickett (online betting).
Faber told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” Monday that he had been waiting for an ideal moment to retire and that a bout in front of his home Sacramento crowd at the newly-opened Golden 1 Center would be most fitting.
"I've been kind of waiting for this, and this is actually going to be my last fight,” Faber told Helwani. “It just feels right to do it in this new area, it just feels like the right time and the right place. I've been waiting for this new arena to be built.”
The 37-year-old Faber has lost three of his last four heading into the bout with England's Pickett at UFC on Fox 22, with defeats against Frankie Edgar, Dominick Cruz and Jimmie Rivera. Following Zuffa's purchase of World Extreme Cagefighting in December 2006, “The California Kid” became the first sub-lightweight star in North America, reigning as WEC featherweight champion until he was dethroned by Mike Thomas Brown in November 2008.
"I've been teetering with it for a long time. The thing is that I'm lucky,” Faber continued. “Like I said, I have my health and I really love what I'm doing. But just as far as the passion goes, I have a passion for what I'm doing still, but it doesn't get the same emotion that it has in the past.”
Faber -- whose Team Alpha Male stable gave rise to former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, perennial bantamweight and flyweight standout Joseph Benavidez and imminent UFC 135-pound title challenger Cody Garbrandt -- told Helwani that he plans to continue focusing on developing talent, as well as branching out in the entertainment industry.
“I have some entertainment stuff I've been working on, shows and some movie stuff. I've got business stuff that I've been working on but I'm most excited about growing the next generation of fighters, bringing multiple belts back to the Sacramento area,” said Faber. “I want to go out with a massive win against a great opponent in my hometown.”