SACRAMENTO -- Fourteen years, and 44 professional fights --that's an unusually long career for a fighter.
"It is. And to be honest, I could go another 10 years," explained Urijah Faber, who plans to retire from Mixed Martial Arts fighting after Saturday night's bout at the Golden 1 Center.
At age 37, and having been in the fight game since he graduated from UC Davis at age 23, Faber is comfortable with his decision to call it quits.
"There has to be a time when you say ... this is going to be it, and I can focus on the next phase. I think leaving with my mind intact, and my health intact and being at the top of my game is the best way to go," he said.
Yet Faber is also at the top of his game when it comes to business ventures locally.
Over the past decade, he's been heavily involved in a long list of successful entrepreneurship, including his own gym, a personal clothing line and a construction business focused on remodels and custom homes.
"So, it's going to be more about me not having to split my focus and split my energy. Just the next phase is going to be me finding a way to make a living where I'm doing the things I love, following my passions and just attacking it full on."
There's no doubt Faber has universal appeal.
The UFC took note of that several years ago and began scheduling a few of his big fights over the years in the capital city and helped put Sacramento on the MMA map.
"You know, I take a lot of pride in the fact that I've had a big role in the sport in general, and especially for Sacramento," he said.
But before the California Kid, who graduated from Lincoln High School, gets to the next chapter in his life, he's got one more trip into the octagon on Saturday. In his hometown, no less, and in the brand new Golden 1 Center.
"It is kind of a surreal moment ... being the last fight, being in the new arena, being here in Sac," Faber said. "But it's also a pretty primal thing. I'm going in there to battle another guy, another opponent who's been training to take my head off. So, I'm excited for it, but I've got to focus on the fight."
Saturday's fight airs locally on FOX40 from 5 to 7 p.m.