Oh, how fast the tide turns. Just a few days ago, ‘No Way Jose’ shirts were a hot item. Now they’ve became more hipster ironic than YAMMA tees. And the Sacramento Bee (yes, a legit paper despite it’s dumb name) has this to say to Urijah Faber:
Without Faber, WEC fighters would not make the money they do in and out of the ring. But featherweight champion José Aldo delivered a message to Faber – through numerous, painful leg whips – that should have come through loud and clear:
Retire. Retire now, not after another loss in which you’re cheered entering the octagon and booed leaving it.
Faber couldn’t beat Aldo on Saturday night or any other day of the week. No shame in that. Aldo is a young, powerful kid. He didn’t even use most of his aggressive arsenal against a foe he truly respected. Faber has made Sacramento proud, restoring pride to a once-great fighting city. He’s a true warrior who has survived many battles. Why risk tarnishing that image or risk the chance of injury?
Take a bow, Urijah.
This brings up the age old sports question: should you retire once you are no longer king of the hill, or do you stick around until every half-decent fighter uses the giant cleft in your chin as a grip to pull themselves above you, pushing you down ever further towards the bottom of the hill?
There is another possibility, though: another chance at redemption. Dave Meltzer floats this idea:
It’s possible that Faber, having lost three of his last five fights, could drop to bantamweight. He has noted many times that he could make 135 pounds with little problem. He wrestled at a lower weight at UC Davis and he’s naturally small for the 145-pound class. Faber fought the past several years at featherweight because, at first, there was no bantamweight class. Once there was, he was already featherweight champion and beating everyone in his path.
Of course, the bantamweight division is also quickly filling with the same kind of next-generation fighters that knocked Faber off his 145 throne. But it’s an option, and a better one than retiring. Hell, even staying at 145 is a better option than retiring. And not because the WEC (or whatever it is now) needs to continue milking Faber’s lush milky teats to stay afloat. But because on any given night, Urijah Faber could still kick the ass of anyone in the WEC. Except Jose Aldo. And there’s nothing wrong with that.