The “California Kid” is back like he never left.
Urijah Faber returned to the Octagon on Saturday night after a nearly three-year retirement and ended it quickly and triumphantly. Faber, facing off with Ricky Simon in his backyard of Sacramento, California, fended off some early bombs from the young challenger before lining up his finishing punches.
Faber, with his back against the cage, leaned in with a heavy overhand right that put Simon on his butt. Then, he followed up with intense ground and pound work as Simon clung to his leg looking for a takedown before referee Rey Beltran stopped the fight at the 40-second mark.
“It makes me feel amazing. Props to Ricky Simon, that kid is gonna be a terror in this weight class, but he’s just not there yet. It takes time baby, experience,” Faber said after the fight. “I always prepare myself for a 15-minute war. You know it’s funny, I think Henry Cejudo called me out a little bit ago, then I heard Dana said I was old. I mean, Dana was old when he was 28. C’mon Dana. Henry, what’s up dawg.”
It was the fastest stoppage victory of Faber’s illustrious career and his first TKO win since 2006. With a pool of contenders suddenly bubbling to the top at 135 pounds, Faber wants to take on the toughest challenges while time is still on his side.
“There’s only one reason I do this and that’s to test myself against the best in the world,” Faber said. “I’ve got such an amazing team, a staff of coaches. My boy Cody Garbrandt is coming back, my boy Song Yadong just taught me that right hand, it’s a hairy situation out there, I gotta get now before it’s too late.”