On this week’s episode of The MMA Hour, long-time bantamweight contender Urijah Faber made the somewhat surprising announcement that his recently announced bout with England’s Brad Pickett will be the last of his career. This Faber swan song will occur on December 17 in Sacremento, California – the home of his renowned gym, Team Alpha Male.
“I’ve been kind of waiting for this,” Faber said to host Ariel Helwani on the show. “This is actually going to be my last fight. And it just feels right to do it in [Sacramento] in this new arena. It just feels like the right time and the right place. I’ve been waiting for this new arena to be built, I was waiting for that Dominick Cruz opportunity, and I feel like this is going to be an epic event and I can’t wait to do it in front of the people I love.”
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for this news to reach the ears of Faber’s upcoming opponent, Brad Pickett. Shortly after Faber’s announcement, Pickett reached out to Helwani to express how honored he is to be the final opponent of Faber’s illustrious career.
“When I was offered this fight I was pumped,” Pickett explained. “It has relit a fire in me that I was worried was slowly burning out. Faber is a true pioneer of the sport. He is an excellent role model and a ridiculously talented athlete and I’m humbled that I get to share the Octagon with him in his hometown for his last fight.”
“When I saw your announcement this evening, I texted him straight away letting him know how honored I was to be his last opponent,” the Brit continued.
I know we’re going to put on a good old fashioned scrap to send him out in style,” Pickett said. “It will be one no one will forget, I’m sure we’ll both make sure of that.”
Pickett will enter this bout with a tough record 1-5 in his last 5 fights, having recently come up short against Ian McCall, Chico Camus, Thomas Almeida and Iuri Alcantara, and kept himself afloat with a contentious split win over Francisco Rivera.
Faber, meanwhile, will enter his final bout on a two-fight skid, having lost decisions to reigning champ Dominick Cruz and top contender Jimmie Rivera in his last two fights. Though the California native never won gold in the UFC, he did sit atop the featherweight throne in the now defunct WEC, and is widely credited for his role in putting the lighter weight classes on the map.
Who do you think wins this clash of bantamweight veterans? Sound off, PENN Nation!