The Laws of the Ring
Urijah Faber (with Tim Keown)
Hardcover. 223 pp.
May 22, 2012. William Morrow.
Okay, alright...first things first. Full disclosure: I have a hard time being impartial about MMA star Urijah "the California Kid" Faber. I think Urijah Faber is one of the most exciting fighters in the history of mixed martial arts. I think Urijah Faber is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth dudes in any professional sport or field of entertainment. But, most importantly, Urijah Faber and I are not only both from California, but we're both from Sacramento. I've trained a few times at Urijah's gym in downtown Sacramento, Ultimate Fitness, which is also the homebase of his Team Alpha Male. I am as loyal of a fan of Urijah Faber's MMA career as I am of the NBA's Sacramento Kings (yes, that is still a real team, but Urijah's much more successful).
Now, I don't live in California anymore, but I am still loyal to my fellow Sacramentans, and I love to see another Sacramento guy do good. I think Urijah is good for the city (and for the sport of mixed martial arts), and I root for him every time he fights. Even if he wasn't from Sacramento, I'd probably be a huge Urijah Faber fan. Because he is from the "916" and represents my hometown so well, I will always appreciate Urijah -- and be forever proud that Sacramento has Urijah as the capital city's most visible star athlete.
However, my admiration for Urijah Faber goes deeper than simply sharing the same hometown. Faber is an inspirational athlete and, even though his job is to beat the crap out of other people, I think he's a solid role model. Faber is charismatic, handles himself well, and brings the respectful, honorable aspects of traditional martial arts to MMA. Not all MMA fighters do that when they enter the cage. After all,I wouldn't be nearly as loyal to my hometown fighter if, instead of Sacramento, I lived 45 minutes (depending on traffic) down Interstate 5 in Stockton and had to support the annoying and disrespectful Diaz brothers, Nate and Nick.
It seems like Urijah Faber would be an unlikely person to write a book, but Faber is also an unlikely candidate for one of the toughest fighters in the world. At 5'6" and 135 lbs, Faber is about the same size as Lil' Wayne or Hillary Clinton, but his credentials cannot be questioned. After a highly-successful amateur wrestling career in high school and at UC Davis where he holds more victories than any other wrestler in the university's history, Faber had his first professional MMA fight in 2003 at Colusa Casino in Northern California. Faber quickly made an impression in the emerging world of mixed martial arts. In 2005, Faber won the King of the Cage Bantamweight Championship and competed in the world famous Abu Dhabi World Championships. Since 2006, Faber has become a major star, making World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) into perhaps the most exciting MMA promotion in the world, winning several championships, and joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after it absorbed the WEC promotion. Today, Faber is one of the UFC's brightest stars and currently starring as a coach on the UFC's reality show, The Ultimate Fighter
, on the FX network.
In Faber's new book, The Laws of the Ring
(William Morrow, May 22, 2012), the fighter teams up with best-selling author Tim Keown -- co-author of Dennis Rodman's memorable autobiography, Bad As I Wanna Be
-- to share his fascinating story. The difference is that Faber's book isn't the normal sports autobiography full of tired cliches and generic memories. In The Laws of the Ring
, Faber shares his unique experiences and his lessons from working with and coaching others in order to help people find the same passion in their lives that he has for fighting.
The Laws of the Ring
is similar in some ways to Robert Greene's series of books, The 48 Laws of Power
, The Art of Seduction
, and The 33 Strategies of War
. While Greene uses experiences from history, philosophy, and classic literature to illustrate the lessons and strategies in his books, Faber shares his personal experiences and his own lessons that he has learned from a life of hard work, sacrifice, passion, fighting, and surviving.
Faber's ability to focus on his opponents, search out the strengths and weaknesses of any rivals who stand across the cage from him, and convey his own passions and beliefs allow him to tell this story and motivate others to achieve their goals without coming across as pretentious. With a degree in human development and a solid background in teaching and coaching other wrestlers and martial artists, Faber's The Laws of the Ring
would be a credible textbook in a course on overcoming obstacles, reaching your targets, and kicking any asses that might get in the way.
Early in The Laws of the Ring
, while sharing stories about the family that he is obviously incredibly close with, Urijah Faber mentions his mother's "aggressive positivity". That's a trait that has undoubtedly been inherited. Whether Faber is heading to the cage to 2Pac's "California Love"
, bouncing around in preparation for the bell to ring to begin his fight, raising his hand in victory afterward, or instructing his students and teammates, the California Kid is overflowing with energetic enthusiasm, relentless passion, and "aggressive positivity". I will always enjoy watching Urijah fight, and I think The Laws of the Ring
is a book that could inspire a legion of fans and motivate future fighters to come.
The Laws of the Ring
by Urijah Faber, with Tim Keown, will be released by William Morrow on May 22, 2012. You can order the book from Amazon
, or for your Kindle
. Urijah "the California Kid" Faber is on Twitter @urijahfaber
, his website is urijahfaber.com
, and he trains with Team Alpha Male at Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento
. Faber can currently be seen as a coach on UFC's The Ultimate Fighter
on FX and he will challenge Dominick Cruz for the World Bantamweight Championship at the UFC's biggest show of the year, at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.