The California Kid Came Out of Retirement to Win by 1st Round KO Against Ricky Simon… And Of Course, He Then Called Out Champion Henry Cejudo…
UFC Sacramento went down last night in the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. One of the most notable aspects of this event was the return of UFC Hall-of-Famer Urijah Faber, the former WEC bantamweight champion and head honcho of Team Alpha Male. He took on Ricky Simon on the main card.
Faber is one of the most loved and respected fighters of recent years. While he never won a UFC title he did have a number of title shots and his season with Conor McGregor on the Ultimate Fighter briefly reinvigorated interested in the reality show. His trademark good lucks and desire to throw down helped make him a marketing dream.
Speaking of dreams, Faber returned to action with a phenomenal display against the very dangerous Ricky Simon. He stopped his opponent in the very first round. ‘The California Kid’ could not have asked for a better display after some time on the sidelines.
— UFC (@ufc) July 14, 2019
At 40-years-old, Faber looked to be in phenomenal physical shape. He did start slow against Simon, who definitely presented a reckless, physical threat. The man with the mullet came towards him with aggression but was unable to land. Those wild swings were to be his undoing as Faber made him pay.
Faber caught Simon with a vicious right hand, dropping him to the canvas. He followed up with some ground-and-pound and Mike Beltran struggled to get him away from his stricken victim. It was a magnificent return for a man who remains very popular in the world of MMA.
What a KO by Urijah Faber! 💥💥💥
— AmericanGambler #PlayLegal (@makeUSbetagain) July 14, 2019
All of a sudden, Faber is immediately a player in the bantamweight division again. It helps him a lot that Henry Cejudo – the 135lb champion – called him out after beating Marlon Moraes earlier in the year. While Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan might not like it, Faber has name recognition. He said:
“I think Henry Cejudo called me out a little bit ago. I heard Dana [White] say that I was old. I know Dana White was old when he was 40 but I’m a young man. Dana was old when he was 28. Come on, Dana. Look at me,” Faber said.
“Henry, what’s up dog, I remember 10 years ago when you challenged me to a fight as a friendly gesture and I’m down to get down in there and mix that up.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 14, 2019
At 40-years-old could there be another title shot in Urijah Faber’s storied career? Imagine if he went on to win the belt after coming out of retirement? What a story that would be. Bantamweight is one of the most exciting divisions on the roster right now.
There are a whole host of competitors at 135lbs right now. It will be fascinating to see how long Faber sticks around in this final stage of fighting career. He’s still got something to offer, but can he hang with the very best at the top of the division? Only time will tell.