UFC on Fox 22- Urijah Faber's Night
“The California Kid” Urijah Faber’s retirement from MMA last night will go down as a true storybook ending in the sport. He technically wasn’t the main event, having passed that torch to his protégé Paige VanZant, but he stole the show with one last victory as the local hero in Sacramento.
Faber entered the UFC’s Octagon to his trademark “California Love” walkout song with commentator Mike Goldberg saying, “Next stop: the Hall of Fame.” With England’s Brad “One Punch” Pickett ready to dance as well, Faber then controlled all three rounds.
Pickett, a six-time first-round finisher, strikes first with low kicks as they both “test the waters” so to speak. Faber turns a takedown effort from his opponent into a near-crucifix (trapping an arm with the offensive fighter’s legs and trapping the other with an arm, using the free arm to punch.) Faber uncorks a left hook that looked like it could end things and would later be dubbed the move of the fight. Pickett gives up his back momentarily but then settles for bottom position on his backs as the leader of Team Alpha Male unloads elbows and strikes to finish the round.
The second is taken up by a grinding battle in the clinch. When Faber pulls “One Punch” to the canvas again off of a knee strike, Pickett attacks with elbows while on defense. Faber, a wrestler, continues to stifle Pickett before finding the right moment to strike with his signature guillotine choke. The fight, however, will make it to the third frame.
Faber gets a single-leg and elbows his way into guillotine position again when Pickett tries to force his way up to his feet. The former WEC champion takes down the Englishman, forcing him onto his stomach. We continue to see mostly elbows from Faber when a third guillotine doesn’t work. When they’re standing it’s Faber who is downed by a left hand this time. He’s up fast enough for it to maybe have just been a slip.
Pickett surrenders his back in the final seconds, leaving Faber working for a submission finish until the very end.
Urijah Faber def. Brad Pickett via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Faber retires with a 34-10 professional record as a former five-time-defending featherweight champion in the once UFC-affiliated World Extreme Cage Fighting. He ends his UFC career with the most submissions/finishes in the bantamweight (135-pound) division with six and most wins at 135 with nine.