Urijah Faber Story
Urijah Christopher Faber is a 37-year old American martial artist who retired in December 2016 winning his last fight against Brad Pickett on 17th December at Sacramento. He is nicknamed The California Kid and is known for his lightning fast hand speed, strong takedowns, and submissions.
Initially, he fought in the featherweight category and was more focused on bantamweight category in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Urijah Faber was born on 14th May 1979 in Isla Vista, California, USA. His father was Theo Faber who had a Danish background while his mother Suzanne’s family was of an Irish, Italian, and English descent. Urijah had an elder brother Ryan and Michaella Tastad was his younger sister. Urijah had his schooling at Casa Roble High School and Lincoln High School, California. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human development from the University of California at Davis. He considers his parents as his heroes.
Right from school days, Faber had a passion for fighting and began learning wrestling while in 8th Grade. As a student at UC-Davis, he had qualified for the NCCA Wrestling championship in 2001 and 2002. He began his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training after college. He obtained a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu –Jitsu trained under Fabio ‘Pateto’ Prado.
He made his debut in MMA on November 12, 2003, taking part in the Gladiator Challenge (GC) Promotion and beat Jay Valencia by a guillotine choke. It was followed by the victory over George Adkins and he subsequently defeated David Velasquez to become GC Bantamweight Champion.
In 2006, he held three titles - World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Featherweight Championship, King of the Cage Bantamweight Championship, and GC Bantamweight Championship.
After his defeat to Jose Aldo in Featherweight, he decided to concentrate on Bantamweight category. In October 2010, WEC was merged with UFC. Following this development, all WEC fighters were allowed to compete in two new weight categories in UFC. In March 2011, he made his UFC debut by beating WEC Bantam Weight Champion Wineland via unanimous decisions.
He has an impressive track record of 34 wins and 10 losses UFC. Total 44 matches- 34 wins –of these 7 were knockouts/Technical knockouts, 19 submissions, 7 decisions and one in others category. Of the 10 losing matches-3 were knockouts/technical knockouts and seven submissions. At the time of retirement, he was ranked 7th in Bantamweight in UFC rankings.
Guest Commentator, Reality Show
In 2009, he had appeared as a guest commentator on WEC 43 and he donned the role of a coach in The Ultimate Fighter: Live.
Method of Training
Faber had two practice sessions daily which started with team practice in the morning and individual sessions in the afternoon. His coaching varied from MMA to discipline-specific training.
Among his career achievements are- Fight of the Night (once) , Submission of the Night (twice), most wins in UFC Bantamweight, most finishes in UFC Bantamweight, WEC Featherweight Championship (once), WEC Fight of the Night (3 times), WEC Submission of the Night, King of the Cage Bantamweight Championship (once), GC Bantamweight Championship (once), and World MMA Awards-2013 Submission of the Year.
Secret of Success
His career success can be attributed to regular practice sessions and the invention of new techniques as per the circumstances in a match. Playing for UFC was his dream when he started his professional career and he achieved it.
Last Match and Future
In the last UFC Fight Nigh match (held on 17 December) before his retirement, he beat Brad Pickett by unanimous decision. He plans to continue mentoring new young fighters under the Team Alpha- meant for training professional fighters. He also runs a clothing and a construction business.