SACRAMENTO -- It's been more than eight years since Urijah Faber held a world title. And yet, it still kind of feels as if he's going out on top.
"The California Kid" put on one final show for his hometown on Saturday, defeating Brad Pickett via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night inside Golden 1 Center. All three judges scored it a 30-26 blowout for Faber.
Faber, 37, announced prior to the fight that it would be the last of his 13-year career. He maintained that stance on Saturday, despite the one-sided victory.
"This life experience has been amazing. I feel like I got my Ph.D. in real life," Faber said. "I'm ready to go forward and some big things. Thank you to Brad Pickett who is an absolute warrior."
The signature moment of the fight happened in the first round, when Faber dropped Pickett (25-13) with a wicked left hook in the pocket. Pickett fell to his back and looked up blankly. Faber followed him to the ground and followed up the knockdown with big shots, but Pickett survived.
Later on in the second frame, Faber looked for one of his signature guillotine chokes in the midst of a scramble. Pickett managed to survive that too and even dropped Faber with a left hand in the final round, but Faber popped back up and smiled.
According to Fightmetric, Faber outlanded Pickett in total strikes 89 to 20. He is just six months removed from fighting for the UFC's bantamweight title in June but had also lost three of his last four going into Saturday.
"It's such a surreal experience," said Faber, on hanging up his gloves. "I love doing this. There's nothing like it in the world. But I'm ready to move forward."
Faber will be remembered as a pioneer for the lower weight classes. Prior to the UFC adding 125-, 135-, and 145-pound weight classes in 2011, Faber was the face of the WEC promotion, which focused exclusively on those divisions. He won the WEC featherweight title in 2006 and defended it five times.
His attempt to win back that WEC title in 2010 against Jose Aldo headlined the only pay-per-view event in WEC history. Between 2008 and 2016, Faber fought in seven world title fights between the WEC and UFC but came up short in each one.
He is the founder of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, which currently houses the likes of Cody Garbrandt and Paige VanZant, among others. He finishes with 19 career wins by submission and seven via knockout.
Gall keeps winning, stops Northcutt in Round 2
Prior to the submission, Gall, of New Jersey, might have accomplished an even bigger feat, as he appeared to anger the notoriously upbeat Northcutt.
In the opening round, Northcutt gained top position in a scramble and then stood up over Gall and animatedly gestured for him to get up.
In the second round, Northcutt opened a cut over Gall's right eye with a left hook. As blood started to run down Gall's face, Northcutt pointed toward it, smiled and said something to Gall, who smiled back. Moments later, Gall landed a winging right hand in the pocket that put Northcutt on the floor.
Sticking with his tradition of calling out opponents, the 25-year-old Gall revealed he intends to drop to lightweight and would like to welcome back former welterweight Dan Hardy, who hasn't fought since 2012.
"I think I'm gonna drop to 155 [pounds]," Gall said. "I think I can go down there and be a champion in a couple years. I'd like to welcome back Dan Hardy. He's been saying he wants to come back and wants a marquee fight. I think he's a legend, and I'd love to fight him."
Gall, who gained notoriety by calling out and then dominating retired WWE star CM Punk earlier this year, is now 3-0 in the UFC with three rear-naked choke finishes. Northcutt, who fights out of Katy, Texas, falls to 3-2 in the UFC.
Jouban dominates Perry for UD victory
Jouban, out of Lafayette, Louisiana, dropped Perry with a counter left in the opening round and again with a straight left in the second frame. Perry, who had never had a fight go the distance before, wobbled Jouban with a head kick and a left hook early, but his offense stalled as the fight progressed.
A big reason for that was Jouban's body kicks, which piled up over the 15 minutes. By the third round, Perry looked hesitant and couldn't let his hands go. Jouban utilized his reach and height advantages, scored with more leg kicks and locked up the win.
Jouban improves to 6-2 in the UFC. Perry, who fights out of South Florida, drops to 2-1.