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Tag: Renan Barao

Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber II Edition’


(“It’s OK Eddie, you’re still the king of the invisible motorcycle dance.” Photo via Getty) 

By Dan George

The UFC returns to lovely…Newark, New Jersey this weekend with UFC 169, featuring a pair of lighter weight title fights and what *should* be a loser-leaves-town fight between Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir that you know who seems unwilling to commit to. There’s also a few badass Russians, a hard-hitting Canadian, and a surging TUF alum thrown in for good measure, so it should be a hell of a card.

And with each UFC pay-per-view comes the p4p best gambling advice on the internet: The Gambling Addiction Enabler. So join us below as we dissect UFC 169 and determine where the best opportunities to make some serious bank lie, because let’s be honest, we’ve all got child support payments to make. What? You don’t have any illegitimate children? I feel like I don’t even know you guys anymore.

The Good Dogs:

John Makdessi (-165) vs. Alan Patrick (+145)

At -165, Makdessi earns the right to be the favorite against undefeated Alan Patrick, who will be looking to make it 2-0 in the UFC. Both fighters are coming off first round knockout wins and while Makdessi has earned his stripes against better competition, it is hard to ignore “Nuguette’s” (?) winning formula thus far in his career. There is no denying that Makdessi is the more talented striker, but Patrick mixes up his striking with takedowns very well which may present problems for Makdessi if he is unable to stop the larger man from taking him down early and often. Against Hallman, “The Bull” showed that his Achilles heel is the ground game and this is where Patrick at +145 is worth some consideration based on what we have seen from him throughout his career.

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Ben vs. Seth: UFC 169 Edition


(…and if you turn the poster over, you’ll see Ben and Seth, butt to butt.)

UFC 169 is poppin’ off this Saturday in Newark, featuring two title fights, a must-win battle between a pair of fading heavyweight legends, and a bunch of other crap that you may or may not care about. Join us as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and editor emeritus Seth Falvo debate the major storylines surrounding the event, from Urijah Faber‘s resurrected title hopes to our always iron-clad gambling advice (LOL), and much more. Enjoy…

True or false: Even though Urijah Faber has already been beaten once by Renan Barao, he still has a better chance of becoming champion this weekend than Ricardo Lamas does.

BG: True. Barao has proven that he’s a better fighter than Faber, but the Cali Kid is so talented and dangerous that nobody really outclasses him at 135. If Barao has a bad night and Faber has a good night, it’s within the realm of possibility that Faber could find a way to choke him out; their skills aren’t that far apart. And maybe there isn’t a talent-gap whatsoever. The fact that Faber’s five WEC/UFC losses have all come in title fights — and the fact that he’s still undefeated in non-title fights, after a full decade of competition — suggests that perhaps there’s some kind of psychological block that’s preventing the California Kid from firing on all cylinders when a belt’s on the line. (Then again, that’s probably the best reason to pick against him on Saturday.) But in this chaotic sport, anything can happen. No absurd win streak lasts forever, and sometimes the sun shines on an old veteran’s ass, so to speak.

SF: False, and not just because this column would be really boring if we both agreed with each other. No one is denying that Urijah Faber is an outstanding talent, but you pretty much made my point for me when you wrote “if Barao has a bad night and Faber has a good night” in regards to his chances of becoming the bamtamweight champion. Lamas, on the other hand…okay fine, his odds aren’t looking any better. Both men have the same slim chances of walking out of The Prudential Center with their respective division’s title, making “Faber has a better chance” technically wrong, and me technically correct. And everyone knows that technically correct is the best kind of correct.

Let’s say Barao defeats Faber on Saturday. Let’s say that he also never fights Dominick Cruz. Does that make Barao’s title run any less legitimate?

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BREAKING: Every UFC Title Fight Will Now Determine #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World


(Fan-made poster by graphzilla)

See, this is exactly why we put a ban on asking Dana White’s opinion about every little goddamned thing. The last time we saw the UFC’s hyperbolic carnival barker, he was making the absurd claim that bantamweight champion Renan Barao would probably become the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world if he stops Urijah Faber — a dude who Barao already beat before.

That win would represent Barao’s first defense of his brand-new unified title. Meanwhile, Jon Jones has defended his light-heavyweight belt six times so far, a tally that includes wins against four former LHW champs. But for the purposes of desperately hyping up a mid-level pay-per-view that could end up competing with the Super Bowl, we’ll just pretend that Jones doesn’t exist.

One week later, Dana White is pulling the same transparent bullshit for a different fight altogether:

“[If Weidman beats Belfort] he’s the best. He’s No. 1. How is he not No. 1 pound-for-pound in the world if he beats Vitor Belfort?” White exclaimed. “It’s impossible not to call him the No. 1 pound-for-pound guy.”

You hear that? IMPOSSIBLE! Don’t even try it, ya dummy! When a reporter pointed out that White recently made the same proclamation about Renan Barao, White made a very cogent argument in support of his new stance. Just kidding:

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[VIDEO] Don Frye is Back With More Machismo-Fueled Predictions for UFC 169

Don Frye told us that he’d be back after his UFC 168 installment of “Predator’s Predictions”, and since the only lie he ever told was that he’d call your mother the next day, “The Predator” has returned with UFC 169 in his crosshairs this time around.

What’s that, you say? There’s actually a different UFC event going down this weekend on Fox? THE PREDATOR HAS NOT THE TIME FOR YOUR MIDDLING CABLE TV CARDS. And if you don’t like how he does business, he’s sure there’s a Designing Women marathon with your name on it playing somewhere, bud.

After opening up this edition of “Predator’s Predictions” by alienating his dissenters as pathetic girlie-men and thanking Seth Macfarlane for bringing back Brian on Family Guy, Frye launches right into his usual mix of whiskey-soaked predictions and occasionally misogynistic insights. A few highlights:

-On Dominick Cruz’s latest injury: “I didn’t know Cruz had a groin.”
-On Ali Bagautinov: “Ali…Boobanov. He’s like the Tazmanian Devil on crack.”
-On Ricardo Lamas: “I remember Lorenzo from the hit TV show Renegade 17 years ago.”
--On Ricardo Lamas, again: ”You say that your favorite technique is ‘whatever wins me the fight.’ In your fight against Jose Aldo, I might recommend a baseball bat or a gun.”
--On Renan Barao: “He looks like Veeter Belfort’s mini-me.”

If your voice doesn’t drop three octaves after watching this video, you’re either a eunuch or already dead.

-J. Jones 

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Jumping the Gun Alert: Dana White Says Renan Barao Will Become “Pound-for-Pound Best” With Win Over Faber


(White, seen here wearing the pound-for-pound best t-shirt from the pound-for-pound best Rocky film of all time. Pound-for-pound.)

I know, I know, we already agreed to stop letting this man do our thinking for us, but check this out.

During the Fight Night 35 post-fight media scrum, the topic of discussion quickly shifted from the event itself and to the recently booked bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber. Specifically, Dana White was asked what would be next for both fighters should Barao come out victorious (again). White’s response:

If Barao goes out and stops Faber, he’s probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Well that was fast.

Barao, who is currently ranked #6 pound-for-pound on the UFC’s much-maligned rankings system, will catapult himself past the likes of Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, and Cain Velasquez should he defeat a guy he’s already beaten before. In what will officially be considered his first title win at 135 lbs. That’s the takeaway here.

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Five UFC Title Rematches That Urijah Faber Should Look to For Inspiration


(Photo via Getty)

By Scott Sawitz

After taking the fight on less than a month’s notice, Urijah Faber will step into the main event of UFC 169 (February 1st, Newark) against Renan Barao, who took a definitive and dominant five-round decision over the former WEC stalwart at UFC 149, for what was then supposed to be an interim title in the bantamweight division. With Dominick Cruz vacating his title due to yet another injury, Faber will have his third opportunity to win UFC gold. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much time to prepare for Barao, who’s become one of the toughest outs in all of MMA.

Faber’s year-round commitment to being in near peak condition — a Team Alpha Male requirement, it seems — affords him this luxury of taking a fight on short notice. Over 18 months have passed since the California Kid walked out of the cage against Barao on the losing side, and what could have been Faber’s last UFC title fight has turned into something else entirely. With four wins (and three submission finishes) over highly ranked opponents marking a stellar 2013 campaign, Faber willed himself into title contention one more time by running roughshod over the UFC’s 135-pound division.

With the rematch set, and Faber looking ahead to what could (once again) be his last shot at a UFC belt, one imagines that the Duane “Bang” Ludwig-led Team Alpha Male squad has a much different game plan in mind for Faber against the Brazilian champion. Ludwig, who has spoke of his fondness for watching fight video in preparation, should have five UFC title rematches on his mind while preparing his fighter for next month’s bout. Each of these fights contain profound lessons that could help Faber become the first Team Alpha Male member to hold a UFC championship belt. Let’s begin…

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 @ UFC 155

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lesson: Make your opponent fight your game

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UFC Gambling Odds: Every Title Fight Currently Scheduled for 2014 Is Basically a Squash Match


(Photo via Getty)

The betting line for Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber has been released, with Barao nearly a 3-1 favorite to defend his bantamweight title at UFC 169 next month. That’s unsurprising, considering that Faber is coming into the fight on less than a month’s notice and already has a loss to Barao on his record. What’s interesting is that every other title fight that the UFC currently has scheduled in 2014 is an even bigger mismatch, in terms of gambling odds. Take a look at the numbers below, via BestFightOdds

UFC 169, February 1st
Renan Barao (-280) vs. Urijah Faber (+220)
Jose Aldo (-624) vs. Ricardo Lamas (+501)

UFC 170, February 22nd
Ronda Rousey (-400) vs. Sara McMann (+318)

UFC 171, March 15th
Johny Hendricks (-387) vs. Robbie Lawler (+323)

UFC 172, April 12th
Jon Jones (-600) vs. Glover Teixeira (+495)

In fact, the only UFC title fight with a slightly closer better line than Barao vs. Faber is Chris Weidman (-255) vs. Vitor Belfort (+195), which hasn’t been tied to a specific event yet. So, which longshot is worth sticking money on? Considering that Lawler and Belfort have the power to change a fight with a single punch/kick, I could think of stupider ways to blow my money than putting small action on those dudes. Your thoughts?

Fun fact: A $2 parlay bet on all six underdogs listed above would net you a hypothetical profit of $11,935.41. Just sayin’.

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BREAKING: Dominick Cruz Tears Groin & Vacates Title, Faber vs. Barao II at UFC 169


(“That’s UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz leading today’s pack…wait a minute…he appears to be veering off the track and…yep, he’s headed for the medical tent. This cannot be good, ladies and gentlemen.” Photo via Getty.)

To borrow a phrase from the Co-Main Event Podcast, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?”

Dominick Cruz is injured. A-G-A-I-N. Groin tear this time. He has vacated the bantamweight title (a lot of that going around lately…) and in his absence, interim champion Renan Barao has been promoted to undisputed champ and will rematch Urijah Faber at UFC 169 with his first official defense on the line. The announcement was made by Dana White on Sportscenter at 4:30 EST.

Faber will be fighting on less than a month’s notice. It should be noted that the last time these two met, the result was the worst card of the year.

All things considered, I’m kind of excited for this. No, seriously. It’s not just that my New Year’s Resolution was to be less cynical (also, stop waking up naked in cornfields with blood on my hands). This has been a long time coming for Cruz.

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UFC Super Bowl Weekend 2014 Card Headlined by Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao, Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas


(“Let’s keep it goin’ for Paula Sack, folks. She’s beautiful, talented, *and* she can burp the alphabet in two languages.” / Photo via Getty)

The UFC confirmed last night that UFC 169 — the promotion’s Super Bowl Weekend card that’s scheduled for February 1st, 2014, in Newark — will be headlined by a pair of title fights in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

In the main event, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will emerge from a 28-month hibernation to face Renan Barao, the interim champ who’s been steady wrecking fools in Cruz’s absence. UFC president Dana White has “made it pretty clear” that if Cruz has to pull out of this title unification bout with another injury, he’ll finally be stripped of his belt and Barao will be named the official champion.

In the co-main event, 145-pound champ (and Barao’s Nova Uniao homeboyJose Aldo will attempt to make his sixth UFC title defense against top contender Ricardo Lamas, who’s 4-0 in the UFC including stoppage wins against Cub Swanson and Erik Koch. Aldo is coming off his four-round shredding of Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163, which gave the Brazilian his 16th consecutive victory overall, as well as a broken foot.

Got any predictions, Potato Nation? And are two competitive title fights in the lighter weight classes just as interesting as one Jon Jones squash match?

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The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

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