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The UFC pitches up in Sacramento this weekend, as Hall of Famer Urijah ‘The California Kid’ Faber comes out of retirement to take on Ricky Simon at UFC Fight Night 155.
The California Kid just couldn’t resist it. Urijah Faber dusts off his gloves and slims down to 135 pounds to grace this Sacramento card in front of what’s sure to be an adoring crowd at the Golden 1 Center. Emerging talent Ricky Simon is the man who’s looking to silence those fans, as he aims to chalk up the biggest win of his career.
This is only Simon’s fourth fight in the UFC, but the Washington native brings an eight-fight winning streak into the contest. Having only tasted defeat once in 16 MMA bouts, this is going to be a very tough night’s work for the 40-year-old Faber. With no prospect of mounting a title challenge and not short of dollars in the bank, the veteran is doing this all for love.
The lack of pressure on his experienced shoulders could make him dangerous, as could his fearsome reputation in his prime. Strong, scrappy and with a never-say-die attitude, Faber was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2017. However, the California Kid isn’t that same fighter, and hasn’t fought inside the Octagon in almost three years.
His power isn’t what it used to be, and that won’t be helped one bit by the further passing of time. In truth, this is a massive gamble for Faber, who risks tainting his legacy if he gets beaten up by a much younger, hungrier man, who’s looking to take a big name and make an equally big statement.
Ranked as the #15 contender in the bantamweight division, Simon is one of many who are eyeing up two-weight kingpin Henry Cejudo, and anything but a convincing win against a man past his prime wouldn’t be good for the 26-year-old’s reputation – even if this homecoming gig is sure to pull the heartstrings and potentially coax a performance out of Faber.
Like his opponent in his heyday, Simon is a strong wrestler, but is likely to want to keep this fight on the feet to test Faber’s engine. The California Kid’s success in his prime was down to his endurance and athleticism, but he was already in decline before retiring, and that could be his downfall here.
With that in mind, we could see Faber go all-out for something big early on in this fight. The longer it goes on, the more it favours Simon.
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John Abrams is a passionate sports fanatic who follows NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB and Formula 1. A former sports trader, John has an unquestioned thirst for sports knowledge and often fills his time playing fantasy or placing wagers online.
All Predictions by John Abrams