“ I’m honored to be acknowledged by the fans and have great pride in representing Sacramento. Hopefully I’m the first in a long tradition of Mixed Martial Artists to be included in the Sacramento Spots Hall of Fame. It’s incredible to be included and along side of these tremendous athletes."
Mixed Martial Arts
High School: Lincoln
College: University of California, Davis
* Gladiator Challenge Bantamweight Champion (2004)
* King of the Cage Bantamweight Champion (2004)
* WEC Featherwieght Champion (2006)
* Professional Record: 34 - 10 (7 KO, 19 Submission)
* Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Urijah Faber was born in Santa Barbara, and moved to Sacramento at 3 years old. He went to elementary school in Carmichael before moving to Lincoln. He loved football: playing Pop Warner in his youth and all four years in high school. He was a good running back but became an All League Defensive Back. It was watching his older brother, Ryan, have success in wrestling that sparked Urijah’s interest and he knew it was for him.
He was a huge fan of any contact sport and enjoyed pinning and submitting his opponents. Urijah’s work ethic and determination kept him focused. He played football, ran track and wrestled during his high school years. He was involved in everything possible related to wrestling: camps, travel teams and even worked at Summer Camps. It all paid off as he won the League Title each year in his weight class; went on to win the Section Tournament; and went to the State Tournament twice. All this was an amazing accomplishment considering he was in a serious car accident his Junior year and was forced to miss most of the season.
He had college offers, but selected U.C. Davis because they had a great wrestling program: even though they didn’t offer him a scholarship. He wanted to continue to wrestle and had other aspirations of being a teacher. He tried out for the UC Davis wrestling team as a walk-on, so he felt he had to prove himself to not only the coaches but to his teammates. His Freshman year was stellar: beating the team captain who was a Senior, which led to him being offered a scholarship. He didn’t disappoint his coaches as he qualified for the National Tournament. He went to the Freestyle University Nationals finishing as the runner up, and was ranked second in the nation. Urijah was the 2 time national qualifier and was among the best at the NCAA Division 1 level. He holds the UC Davis record for most wins. After graduating, Urijah stayed on as a coach and planned to get a teaching job. But he missed the competition and began thinking about a different sport all together.
In 2003 Mixed Martial Arts was new and wasn’t regulated in most states. Urijah always wanted to box, and combined with his jujitsu abilities, he decided to give this trending sport a try. Urijah entered his first contest and won in 1:30 minutes. He received $200 plus bonus money for selling tickets for a total of $500. Doing the math he figured this was easy money and enjoyed it. Thus the “California Kid” was born.
After starting in the Gladiator Challenge Promotion, Urijah started making a name for himself as being a charismatic performer and crowd favorite with devastating submissions and action packed matches. He was also competing in the King of the Cage Promotion and winning titles. In 2006 Urijah competed for the first time in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and captured the World Featherweight Title with a stoppage in the 2nd round. He later returned to King of the Cage and defended his title for a record 5th successful time!
Later that year the UFC purchased the WEC, giving Urijah the ultimate exposure. He appeared on television for the first time and was now becoming a household name in this rising sport. In 2011, the WEC and UFC merged and he was now fighting on the world’s biggest stage against the best fighters in the world. He defeated former WEC Bantamweight Champion, Eddie Wineland, in his debut at UFC 128. At UFC 132 he earned ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. At UFC 139, he won with a second round submission; earning ‘Submission of the Night’ honors. One of his proudest moments was when his hometown crowd came out in record numbers to support him at a sold out Arco Arena.
Urijah’s success has led to enormous popularity and a spot on the reality TV series The Ultimate Fighter, where he has appeared as a coach and leader of Team Faber in two different seasons. He founded Team Alpha Male which has produced several championship fighters. He was also the subject of the documentary “Warrior Nation” which was viewed by 80 million on MSNBC; and a New York Times feature detailing his life. Urijah is our only current active athlete still fighting in the UFC and is one of the most respected and recognized fighters in the world. He continues to live and train in Sacramento and owns his own clothing line and gym – The Family Fitness downtown location.