UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber isn’t ruling out a potential return to the promotion’s famed octagon, but for now he’s more worried about a different cage – the one named after him. .
The former WEC featherweight champion and four-time challenger for the UFC bantamweight title is now the promoter of Urijah Faber’s A1 fight series.
“It’s gonna be awesome, man,” said Faber underground MMA. “I think it’s kind of the perfect storm. You know, it was really needed in Northern California to have a high profile event and a place where these fighters could cut their teeth and get exposure and to have great matchups. It’s been an uphill battle over the last 10 years to make something stick, and I think we have a great recipe for that.”
“The California Kid” has been synonymous with the upstate part of the state for most of his athletic career. After wrestling at the University of California, Davis, he then turned to MMA, where he first became a mainstay with King of the Cage, which held several events in the area, before moving on to sport’s biggest promotions, starting with the WEC. then moving to the UFC when the organizations merged.
Along the way, he settled in Sacramento, establishing Team Alpha Male in 2004, a gym that remains incredibly relevant in the sport to this day and boasts a number of fighters competing in the sport’s biggest promotion, the UFC.
At 42, Faber hasn’t completely ruled out competing under the UFC banner again, but he’s currently focused on helping the next wave of athletes in a talent-rich field find career opportunities. fight their way to the top of the sport. On Sunday, he will take a step forward in that effort, as A1 Combat Series debuts on UFC Fight Pass, the UFC’s online streaming service, with an event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento in Fire Mountain.
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“The community is hungry for fights,” Faber said. “I mean, we have so many fighters who need opportunities to get noticed, to build their records, to do what they love, and therefore be able to deliver something that’s top notch, to high quality and with global exposure is going to be awesome, and there’s the cool factor there. You know, we have Hard Rock Casino. There’s no cooler casino than Hard Rock, and so the guys can get a real feel for what high-level fights are going to feel like.”
As for his own fighting career, Faber (35-11 MMA, 11-7 UFC) hasn’t competed since a December 2019 loss to former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, but he doesn’t rule out at least one more trip to the promotion’s famed octagon. Fellow Californian and UFC and WEC veteran Cub Swanson – who will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July – has proposed a matchup between the two veterans as a “King of California” matchup.
Faber has heard the calls and does not say no.
“I would never rule that out,” Faber said. “However, I haven’t heard anything from the UFC brass. Cub has generated some interest. I don’t have a big roster of people, but I want to do things that seem fun, that have some meaning to me and that would be quite meaningful.”
Time will tell if this matchup will materialize, but Faber has other priorities for now. Following the Sunday debut of the A1 Combat Series on UFC Fight Pass, the organization will return for a pair of events on May 28-29. Faber thinks it’s well worth the time to give the promotion a chance.
“It will be a great event,” Faber said. “You’re going to see some of the best in Northern California. We’re going to put on a great show — everything you see on those bigger shows. We’re going to have great commentary. We’re having great behind-the-scenes interviews. We’re going to have ring girls and all the mix, so that’s what you love about mixed martial arts, and it has heart, so tune in. Don’t miss it.
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