On Saturday night, Urijah Faber marched into his first non-title Ultimate Fighting Championship bout where he was pegged as the underdog. Ricky Simon, the 26-year old upstart with a 3-0 record in the organisation and a Legacy Fighting Alliance strap having only recently been mounted in his trophy case, waited patiently on the opposite side of the Octagon. The overwhelming feeling of the audience — if not in the Golden 1 Center — was one of resignation.
Simon was a 4-to-1 favorite, and there was every reason to suspect this was not going to be the homecoming Sacramento was pulling for. Even if you ignored Simon’s 15-1 record and credentials, the storyline of a 40-year old Faber scoring an electrifying win, two and a half years removed from his swan song, is one the Fight Gods have always been reluctant to manifest. Simon was going to do to Faber what Yair Rodriguez did to B.J. Penn and Francis Ngannou did to Cain Velasquez, and after it was all said and done, we were going to collectively admonish ourselves for believing in an alternate scenario.
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