Just because former featherweight world champion Urijah Faber is now retired from MMA competition, it doesn't mean that the Team Alpha Male founder is done with the sport. Far from it, in fact.
Faber continues to lead his busy TAM squad as they look to continue to win in the UFC Octagon and build a new gym headquarters. The likes of Paige VanZant and new bantamweight champion Cody "No Love" Garbrandt have already credited Faber for their career success.
Faber told the Boston Herald that he's still interested in helping other fighters in retirement.“There can be a lot of of distractions, and if you’re not strong-minded and really focused on what you want, a lot of times you make bad decisions," he cautioned.
"And you’ve seen that, even with guys that are superstars in this sport, making terrible decisions, and all of a sudden they can’t fight for a long time.”
Faber has likely encountered everything there is in the business of MMA as a fighter, coach, gym owner, manager and apparel company owner. He's seen highs and lows, and as he looks into the UFC's future, with their new owners WME-IMG, Faber hopes that the promotion begins to raise pay for its athletes.
“This is the entertainment world that we’re dealing with now with (WME-IMG). There’s value to having the fighters in the organization be a step up in the social and financial world, because that’s part of the image,” Faber continued.
“You don’t want it to be known that if you’re a fighter that you’re gonna be broke. So I think that they understand that, they want to continue to make more money for the entire organization. I hope that the fighters will get to see some of that.”
Faber pointed out that higher contracted wages for fighters is a lot better than the discretionary bonuses the promotion has long held out as carrots for athletes.
“I’d rather just get paid more above-board, and I feel like that’s starting to happen,” he said, of discretionary bonuses compared to guaranteed, contracted pay form the UFC.
“In a lot of ways, discretionary bonuses have been a way to keep loyalty and keep you guessing.”
Faber has become a successful entrepreneur in MMA, but he insists that he still only did it for the love. Doing things well just led to his making a little money along the way.
“I never got into this fight game because of the money, I did it because I loved it,” concluded.
“And I was fortunate to make...not enough money to last me the rest of my life, but a good head-start on using my mind to do the next phase of things.”