Urijah Faber got the itch again. The former WEC and UFC star will be fighting at home at UFC Sacramento against Ricky Simon after over two years of enjoying retirement.
MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer revealed the news on his podcast, Wrestling Observer Radio, that Urijah Faber has an opponent for his comeback fight at UFC Sacramento. FloCombat’s Nolan King also reported that the bout is expected to be the co-main event of the card.
This is certainly not a gimme fight for the legendary “California Kid.” He’ll be taking on a rising contender in Ricky Simon who is 15-1 in his career, 26-years-old, and already has three strong wins in the UFC. Faber has not been completely inactive in retirement, as he recently took on 17-year-old grappling prodigy Nicky Ryan for the Polaris No-Gi featherweight title, losing by points.
Urijah Faber was the first big star of the lighter weight classes, defending his WEC featherweight belt five times from 2007 to 2008. After losing his belt, the leader of Team Alpha MMA would receive six more title shots in the WEC and UFC, but never got to hold the belt again. Faber was a successful 10-6 in the UFC before his retirement, headlining five cards and fighting for the bantamweight title four times. The 40-year-old went out on a high note by defeating fellow veteran Brad Pickett in front of his home crowd in Sacramento. He’ll put that happy ending at risk in July.
Ricky Simon bounced around between featherweight and bantamweight before settling in at 135 pounds when he earned a shot at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2017. The Washington native did not earn a UFC contract after winning by split decision, but ended up winning the LFA bantamweight title and defending it once in his next two fights to get that call from the UFC. Since then, he’s defeated top prospects Merab Dvalishvili (albeit controversially) and Montel Jackson before having a dominant performance against crafty veteran Rani Yahya.
UFC Sacramento takes place on July 13 from the Golden 1 Center in California. The card does not have a headliner yet but will feature a slew of Team Alpha MMA fighters who train in Sacramento such as Darren Elkins, Cynthia Calvillo, Andre Fili, Benito Lopez, and Josh Emmett.