Pioneer to the lighter weight classes in mixed martial arts Urijah Faber will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July.
“The California Kid” put the featherweight division on the map. During a time when the UFC cut the 155-pound division from its roster, Faber was laying the groundwork for the bantamweight and featherweight divisions in King of the Cage and World Extreme Cagefighting. From 2006 to 2008, Faber was the 145-pound world champion.
Faber made the lighter weight classes relevant. He fought for the UFC bantamweight title four times, but the belt eluded him. Faber, who founded Team Alpha Male, was unable to bring his team a UFC title. The first fighter training out of the Sacramento, Calif. gym to win UFC gold was TJ Dillashaw in 2014. He left the camp after his second title defense and sparked a bitter rivalry with his former team.
Despite the animosity between the two, Dillashaw believes Faber is well deserving of his upcoming UFC Hall of Fame induction.
“When I was in wrestling in college, he was a guy that I looked up to when he was fighting – someone that had made it from a wrestling background. He wrestled at University of California, Davis,” Dillashaw said during an appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
“He paved the way for us. He was a very popular small guy; the first one. He’s been around for a long time, so he definitely deserves it.”