Urijah Faber Entering UFC Hall of Fame
The first entrant for the UFC Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 was named during UFC 210, and it turned out to be none other than "The California Kid" Urijah Faber.
Being named to the Hall of Fame’s Modern Era wing, Faber left his mark in the UFC. He was not only one of the more popular lighter-weighted fighters, he was one of the ones responsible for the UFC’s shift in focus on building lighter weight classes, including the bantamweight division Faber normally competed in.
Faber made his MMA debut on November 12, 2003, scoring a first-round submission victory over Jay Valencia. Faber would then go on to win 20 of his next 21 bouts, which included wins over Dominick Cruz and Jens Pulver. Faber won the King of the Cage bantamweight championship in November 2004.
On March 17, 2006, Faber made his debut in the WEC. In his debut, Faber won the WEC featherweight championship with a corner-stoppage win over Cole Escovedo. Faber went on to defend the title five times.
Following this time, Faber did not really have as big of a winning streak. But after the WEC’s merger with the UFC, Faber transitioned onto the UFC’s official roster. Faber made his UFC debut on March 19, 2011, earning a unanimous decision victory over Eddie Wineland at UFC 128. Faber soon then had two chances to win a UFC title. Unfortunately, he lost his shot at the UFC bantamweight title to Dominick Cruz and his shot at the interim title to Renan Barao.
Faber then went on a four-fight win streak before challenging Barao again at UFC 169, but this time with the world bantamweight title on the line. Faber, however, lost by TKO in 3:42. After winning another three of four, Cruz challenged for the title again at UFC 199 — this time it was held by Cruz. Cruz won by unanimous decision.
After a UFC 203 loss to Jimmie Rivera, Faber was booked to face Brad Pickett at a UFC Fight Night in his home state of California on December 17, 2016. Faber won by unanimous decision.
Faber didn’t hold any titles in the UFC, but his mark on the sport — including the attention he brought to the smaller divisions — is unforgettable.