NOTE: Part I is not a travel blog post but a set up for tomorrow’s blog post which will be a travel one. It gives you a bit of backstory and history to me and why I traveled to UFC 199.
I have been a fan of the sport of mixed martial arts for many years. At that time the guy I was seeing was recording all of the IFL (RIP), WEC (RIP), and UFC fights. He had some on a couple times while I was over and I thought it was cool. At the time a lot of people would use the term “brutal” or “barbaric” to describe it. But I’ve always been a bit of a scrapper and have a bit of a thirst to see the blood. It’s bad I know, but here was something I could watch that gave me all of that and it was considered a professional sport. Then one day I saw him, The California Kid, Urijah Faber with his long glowy hair and his chin dimple and I was hooked and in love. Watching this WEC champ was something I never wanted to stop doing. A few years later however I fell off due to some personal things in my life.
I kept an ear to the ground just enough to learn of the new big stars but hadn’t seen their fights. November 2015 after hearing about the Rousey Vs Holm fight I decided to search it out and give it a watch. I liked seeing that women have come in and have begun to dominate the sport while I was away. I wish I was able to see the rise, but, at least it happened in the first place. I began watching a couple more fights from around that same time and before I knew it I was hooked and I have been watching every one since.
When I heard the name Urijah Faber my ears perked up. And I was happy to see he was still fighting. I began following him on social media and researching what had been going on with his career since I had stepped away. I was saddened he had yet to win a UFC belt. The California Kid wasn’t a kid anymore, he was 36. But his longtime foe Dominick Cruz from the WEC days was back and even though he had a layoff for much of the time I was away from the sport while Urijah kept fighting, this guy had the belt.
An announcement was made at a 3rd bout inside the cage was to happen between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz, and a belt was on the line. The fight would happen at the UFC199 event in Inglewood, CA just outside of Los Angeles. The California Kid was from NorCal in Sacramento, while The Dominator was from SoCal, San Diego to be exact. This rivalry had been going on for over a decade, they hadn’t fought each other in about 4 years, and before the fight was to take place Urijah would turn 37. This was Urijah’s 4th chance at a UFC belt, if he lost he would hold the record for most title shots and not getting a championship belt. That’s not a record anyone wants. I contemplated all of these facts and realized this may very well be his last title shot, and who knows if he lost the title would he fight again? I had never actually seen him fight live, so it seemed like a case of now or never. And I decided, what else does a jetsetter do? But jet set. So off I went to booking my trip to LA. A place I haven’t been in over 2 years.