Tonight in Sacramento, California, MMA veteran Urijah Faber will step into the Octagon for the final time as he faces Brad Picket in front of his hometown fans in the co-main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: Sacramento’. Ahead of the fight, the MMA community has continued to reflect on Faber’s iconic career, which dates back thirteen years.
While Faber’s professional career goes back thirteen years, his rivalry with Dominick Cruz goes back nearly ten years, to a time when Faber reigned as the WEC featherweight champion. Faber defeated Cruz in the pair’s first meeting, however it was Cruz who won the next two fights, with the most recent one being a dominant unanimous decision win over Faber at UFC 199 in June.
Ahead of Faber’s final fight tonight, Cruz praised his rival in an interview on The MMA Hour, saying:
“To be perfectly honest, the guy started this sport in the lighter weight class,” Cruz said. “When I first started this thing, there was only 155-pounders and up. And because he had a good following in Sacramento, that whole town got behind him, he was able to get people to show up to the shows and be able to make a run for the lighter weight classes. Without him, without a star, an early star in the early days in this sport, the lighter weight classes might not have been made. That’s the truth.
“I was there right next to him, right with him. The difference is, he was bashing me down while he was the star, so I didn’t get the limelight. And that’s okay. That made me who I am today. I’m appreciative for Urijah Faber. I’m appreciative for the rivalry. I’m appreciative for the fights that I have with that man. I’m going to look back in time and be glad that we fought like we did and said the things that we did about each other, and I’m happy for his future. And that whole thing with me and him is completely buried. Like, I couldn’t be happier that chapter of my life is done, and I wish him nothing but the best.
“However, his little stepson, Cody ‘No Love,’ is about to get worked. And that’s something that’s going to affect him. So I’m sorry about that, because I’m going affect his money yet again.”