Urijah Faber was taking on a much younger fighter on a hot streak at UFC Sacramento, but the California Kid pulled off a stunning knockout of Ricky Simon, in another highlight reel moment for Faber’s Hall of Fame career.
Retirements just never seem to stick in MMA. Exhibit A, Tito Ortiz, who for some inexplicable reason will be fighting ex-WWE star Alberto Del Rio in the near future. Exhibit B, making his return at UFC Sacramento, Hall of Famer Urijah Faber. Faber, long known as the best bantamweight to never win a UFC title, retired after a win over Brad Pickett back in December 2016.
It seemed like a solid ending to a storied career. And Faber had business ventures, including Team Alpha Male, to deal with. Yet the allure of the fight game remains strong for those who have lived it for the bulk of their lives. And so Faber returned, after over two years away, to take on Ricky Simon.
It was a fight Faber needed to win, if he hoped to take advantage of the mess that is the UFC’s 135lb weight class. Simon, however, would have something to say about that, as he entered the night undefeated in the promotion. And on an eight fight win streak overall.
Simon opened the bout with a low kick that fanned, Faber tried a front kick high that also missed the mark. Simon went right after Faber with a left, and tried a flying knee, which barely missed, but was also nearly caught by the Hall of Fame legend. And that was all Ricky Simon managed to get in on Saturday.
Faber dropped his opponent with a right hand moments later, and Simon was stunned! He was face down, but managed to scamper away. Faber scrambled to catch him, nearly overshooting him, then launched some nasty ground n’ pound until ref Mike Beltran pried him off.
— UFC (@ufc) July 14, 2019
At 40 years old, Urijah Faber earned the fastest finish of his career, and instantly put himself in the title picture, simply by being Urijah Faber. After the fight, he noted that Henry Cejudo had called him out a while back, only for UFC President Dana White to call Faber old. “I know Dana White was old when he was 40, but I’m a young man. Dana was old went he was 28.”
That said, there’s a small window for Faber to remain in contention. With his name value, the UFC would be wise to take advantage, although that may not sit well with the likes of Aljamain Sterling.
Urijah Faber def. Ricky Simon by knockout, Round 1, 0:46