UFC Hall of Famer, Urijah Faber is back. “The California Kid” announced his retirement in 2016 after he beat Brad Pickett by decision. When he hung up his gloves, the news surprised some, including teammate, Josh Emmett. But, the 40-year-old Faber will return to the Octagon on Saturday to take on Ricky Simon.
For Emmett, who has been training with Faber for years now, always thought the former WEC champion would return.
“I was surprised he made his retirement two years ago. I’ve been with Urijah for a long time, and in the WEC he paved the way for the lighter weight classes,” Emmett said to MMA News. “That was amazing to be a part of his retirement fight and I was surprised he retired. He is in the gym all the time and is training sometimes more than the pros. I had a feeling he would come back. It has to be hard. He built this and now can make some good money because the money is starting to turn around.
“I wasn’t surprised he came out of retirement because I didn’t think he should have retired,” he continued. “He hasn’t missed a beat in training. Ricky Simon is a young hungry fighter and is trying to build a name off Faber. With his experience, it may overwhelm Simon.”
Although Urijah Faber is back this Saturday, it could very well be a one-off. The consensus around the gym is that the Hall of Famer is taking it one fight at a time and seeing how he feels against Simon.
But, Emmett says Faber has fights left on his contract and the elusive UFC championship is something “The California Kid” is striving for. So, a title run is not out of the question for the veteran should he have a good performance on Saturday.
“I think he is taking it one fight at a time. He was always thinking about competing and has been feeling good. His time off, everything healed,” Emmett said. “Now, he is 100 percent healthy and his body feels better than ever and still has the speed and power. I know he has several fights on his contract and of course who doesn’t want to be a world champion as he has been so close several times. He has to get through Ricky Simon who is a tough fighter and will take it there.”
For now, Josh Emmett says Urijah Faber looks great in the gym and they are all excited to see him compete once again at UFC Sacramento.