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Tag: Renan Barao

Update: Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans Now Headlines UFC 161, MMA Fans Trapped in 2011 Rejoice


(Oh yeah, Rashad, we just went there.)

It has recently been announced that, following Renan Barao’s withdrawal from his scheduled interim title fight with Eddie Wineland — the battle between light heavyweight wrestlers Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson will now serve as the headliner for UFC 161. While this change would at first seem like a huge downgrade (hence the kneejerk reaction title) given both fighter’s underwhelming performances against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Lyoto Machida, respectively, it actually has all the makings for one hell of a fight. Perhaps even because of that fact.

The news was passed along by the UFC’s official twitter account earlier today. The fight is still scheduled for three rounds.

Evans has dropped two of his past three fights and is in need of a big win if he is to ever delay any more discussion of a potential (and likely dreadful) drop to middleweight. Henderson also finds his back somewhat against a wall, as the 42-year old’s stock has been decreasing ever since he was forced to pull out from his UFC 151 title fight with Jon Jones. Again, these may sound like criticisms, but in all reality, they only heighten the chance that these two veterans put on a show for the ages come June 15th.

As for the Jake Shields/Tyron Woodley fight that will likely be bumped up to the main card in light of this…

-J. Jones

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Interim UFC Champ Barao Pulls Out of UFC 161 Title Defense Against Eddie Wineland

Tatame by way of Bloody Elbow reports that June 15th’s UFC 161 has lost its main event. UFC interim 135 pound champion Renan Barao was set to face Eddie Wineland in the event’s headlining match but the Brazilian has reportedly been forced to pull out due to injury.

Barao is reported to have injured a foot. He became the interim champion by beating Urijah Faber after champion Dominick Cruz went on injured reserve because of multiple knee ligament injuries. Wineland is on a two-fight win streak and Barao recently defended the interim belt by choking out Michael McDonald and earning his 20th consecutive win.

As of yet, the extent of Barao’s injury is unknown and so then is how long he will be out of action. No word yet from the UFC, either, on a substitution main event for UFC 161.

You up for an interim-interim bantamweight champ, nation?

- Elias Cepeda

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Interview: Urijah Faber Breaks Down His Upcoming MMA Combine, MMADraft.com, Optical Panacea Posters, And Cruz vs. Barao


(An excerpt from Urijah Faber’s Optical Panacea poster. Click the image to see the full-size extended version.)

By Ben Goldstein

From the very beginning of his career, Urijah Faber understood that he could be so much more than just a guy throwing punches in a cage. The California Kid bought his own gym in 2006, and went on to build one of the most successful fight teams in the sport. He’s partnered up with apparel brands ranging from K-Swiss to Torque. He’s written a book. And he’s been the entrepreneurial driving force behind a number of forward-thinking enterprises, including MMADraft.com — a site he launched with Phil Davis that seeks to find better opportunities and wider attention for amateur fighters — and Optical Panacea, a new company that elevates MMA fighter posters into fine art.

With Faber awaiting his next fight-assignement from the UFC, we spent some time on the phone with him yesterday to discuss all of the projects that will keep him hustling this summer, from the first-ever MMA Combine that will take place at the next UFC Fan Expo on July 6th, to the public launch party for Optical Panacea that will be going down next Friday in Las Vegas. (Be there!) Enjoy, and be sure to follow Urijah on Twitter @UrijahFaber.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: It’s been a month since your submission win over Scott Jorgensen at the TUF 17 Finale. Has the UFC given you any word on when they want you to return, or offered you your next opponent?

URIJAH FABER: I haven’t heard anything. I’ve kind of been on vacation, but I’m looking forward to continuing training and doing big things.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: Duane Ludwig has been getting a lot of attention lately for his work as the head coach at Team Alpha Male. Is there one thing he’s specifically told you or taught you that’s helped to improve your game?

URIJAH FABER: I think one thing in particular is that we’ve been doing a lot of drilling. As wrestlers, we’ve all drilled a lot with our wrestling techniques, and now we’re bringing that into the other avenues as well. Duane’s got some awesome drills, and he has a great system down — the Duane Bang Muay Thai system — that we’re all learning. I was definitely able to incorporate a little bit of that into my standup [in my last fight], and it’s only going to get better.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: Tell me a little about the MMA Combine for amateur fighters that you and Phil Davis are hosting at the next UFC Fan Expo in July. How close will this be to something like the NFL Scouting Combine, and what are some of the testing criteria that will be specific to MMA?

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‘UFC on FUEL 7′ Aftermath — Barao Defends Interim Belt, Picks Up 20th Consecutive Win


(Interim UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao | Photo via MMA Weekly)

By Elias Cepeda

Interim Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao withstood some dangerous moments and an overall stiff challenge from Michael McDonald in the main event of the UFC on FUEL 7 card in England yesterday to retain his belt with a fourth round arm-triangle submission win. After three rounds of close action, that saw McDonald land some hard shots to the dome of the champion, Barao was able to drag the challenger to the mat, take his back and then quickly transition to a cross-side knee-on-belly position with a locked arm-triangle and force the tap.

Throughout the fight, Barao looked confident on his feet but clearly wanted to take McDonald to the ground where he’d be safe from the American’s nasty counter-punches and where he assumed he’d have a clearer advantage. McDonald survived being taken down early in the first round and stuffed many more takedown attempts up until the end.

Ultimately, the champion’s conditioning enabled him to continue to doggedly pursue McDonald and keep him on the mat. Barao earned an $50,000 with his Submission of The Night and urged injured regular bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz to come back as soon as possible, in his post-fight remarks. The win represented Barao’s 20th-straight victory, in a stunning streak that dates back to April 2008.

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UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s kind of offensive that the UFC promos keep referring to Barao as a “monster.” He’s a human being, okay? An aggressive, scary human being whose mother just happens to be half-cthulhu / Photo via MMAJunkie.)

Today at the Wembley Arena in London, UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao and 22-year-old phenom Michael McDonald will do battle to determine who’s truly the greatest 135-pound fighter in the world, at least until Dominick Cruz finally heals up and puts an end to this ridiculous charade. Alright, so an interim title might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still a damn good fight, and the rest of the card features a crowd-pleasing assortment of slugfests and future stars.

Leading us through today’s UFC on FUEL 7 liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will be laying down round-by-round results from the main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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Watch the ‘UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald’ Weigh-Ins Right Here at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT [UPDATED w/RESULTS]


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

All 24 fighters on the surprisingly-awesome UFC on FUEL 7 card will be hitting the scales shortly in London. You can watch the weigh-ins live in the player above starting at 11 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. PT; results will be updated after the jump. And be sure to come back tomorrow afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. ET for our liveblog of the FUEL TV main card, alright?

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CagePotato Databomb #6: Breaking Down the UFC Bantamweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

It’s almost time for the interim bantamweight championship fight between Renan Barao and Michael McDonald. But first, let’s examine the whole UFC bantamweight division in several key striking metrics. As one of the youngest divisions with quite a few newcomers, there were several chart busters who have performed either really well in a certain metric, or in Mike Easton’s case, really poorly, so those outliers are noted. Usually those fighters will regress towards the mean, but they’re worth keeping an eye on. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

As a group, the 135’ers are the hardest to hit, as illustrated by their lowest power head striking accuracy of any UFC division. But they manage to maintain a high pace of action, with the second-highest significant strike attempts per minute average. (Flyweights have the highest.) So which fighters get the awards in this frenzied group?

The Winners

Sniper Award: Rangy southpaw Alex Caceres leads the division with 48% power head striking accuracy. Though he has yet to score a knockdown in the UFC, the Bruce Lee superfan has definitely put on entertaining fights including sharp striking, rapid pace, and some very retro body suits.

Energizer Bunny Award: Johnny Bedford has been outstriking his UFC opponents more than 2:1 on his way to two finishes. Bedford’s size has been an advantage for him in one of the smallest weight classes, and we’ll see if he can continue his streak.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: In addition to outworking his opponents, double award winner Johnny Bedford is 2-0 in the UFC with two knockout finishes. But an honorable mention also goes to knockout machine Michael “Mayday” McDonald, who has landed four knockdowns during his 5-0 streak with Zuffa. McDonald gets his biggest test yet against higher volume striker and interim champ Renan Barao, in an interesting contrast of power and finesse.

The Losers

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Four Reasons to Be Completely Psyched About UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald


(Fan-made poster via NixsonMmaPosters. Let’s just pretend that Siver isn’t there.)

We wouldn’t expect a FUEL card in London to be “stacked” in the traditional sense. But although this coming Saturday’s UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald event is low on star-power, it’s actually loaded with great matchups. Here’s why these fights are worth paying attention to…

1. The main card is a hot mess of blue-chip prospects.
Even more so than UFC on FUEL 7′s headliners, I’m excited to see the return of three guys who looked like juggernauts in their UFC debuts. First, we’ve got our old pal Ryan Jimmo, who entered the Octagon on a 16-fight win streak at UFC 149 and proceeded to sleep Anthony Perosh in just seven seconds, then gave fans their money’s worth by busting out a celebratory robot. Can he possibly repeat that performance this weekend against James Te-Huna?

Also in the light-heavyweight division, 12-0 Nigerian-English mauler Jimi Manuwa — who has never been to the third round in his entire career, by the way — will face Cyrille Diabaté, five months after Manuwa whipped Kyle Kingsbury to a doctor’s stoppage TKO after ten minutes of action. And finally, Icelandic grappling master Gunnar Nelson will follow up his swift choke-out of Damarques Johnson with a fight against Jorge Santiago, in a welterweight bout that will probably go very badly for Santiago.

The prelims also feature a few more guys who almost fit in the same “hot-prospect” category, including Stanislav Nedkov — who’s still technically undefeated after his loss to Thiago Silva was overturned in November — and Paul Sass, the submission wiz who took the first loss of his career against Matt Wiman in September.

2. Michael McDonald could become the youngest UFC champion ever* — and by a fairly wide margin.

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Barao vs. McDonald to Headline UFC’s Return to London on Feb. 16; Five More Fights Added to Card


(Barao puts one upside Faber’s head at UFC 149. Photo via Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

The interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and challenger Michael McDonald will go down at UFC on FUEL 7, February 16th at London’s Wembley Arena. UFC UK confirmed the news earlier today, and revealed a crop of supporting fights. They are…

- Paul Sass vs. Danny Castillo (LW): The British two-trick pony took his first career loss against Matt Wiman in September, while Team Alpha Male member Castillo had a three-fight win streak snapped in October when he was KO’d by Michael Johnson.

- Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte (LW): Inactive since becoming a permanent part of Edson Barboza’s highlight reel in January, Etim returns from injuries to face TUF Brazil castmember Renee Forte, who just suffered his first official UFC loss when he was submitted by Sergio Moraes at UFC 153.

- Andy Ogle vs. Josh Grispi (FW): Grispi is on a three-fight losing streak, while TUF: Live castmember Ogle lost his official UFC debut in a decision against Akira Corassani in September. Oh, you bet your ass it’s “win or go home” time.

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Yes, Renan Barao Will Defend His Interim Bantamweight Title Against Michael McDonald


(Well, it was either this or “Ya Mo Be There.” / Props: FreeFights4You)

As confirmed by UFC president Dana White on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight, UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will indeed defend his belt against 21-year-old rising star Michael McDonald, with Dominick Cruz out of action until the second half of 2013 due to continued knee problems. A date and location for the fight have yet to be determined.

Though the UFC has been messing around with interim titles since 2003, Barao vs. McDonald will be just the second third time that a UFC interim champion will fight another contender while the actual champ remains sidelined. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was the last to do so, when he won the interim heavyweight belt against Tim Sylvia in February 2008, then lost it in an interim title defense against Frank Mir later that year. (Update: Andrei Arlovski did it before Nog, when he won the interim heavyweight belt against, yes, Tim Sylvia in February 2005, then defended it successfully against Justin Eilers four months later. Arlovski was declared the UFC’s official heavyweight champion after that fight.)

Barao, who originally planned to wait out Cruz’s injury to ensure a shot at the unified belt, won his interim title in a decision against Urijah Faber in July, extending his career win streak to 19 (!), the last four of which have come inside the Octagon. McDonald is also 4-0 in the UFC, and is coming off first-round knockouts of Miguel Torres and Alex Soto. As MMAFighting points out, McDonald has the opportunity to become the youngest titleholder in UFC history should he find a way to beat the Brazilian juggernaut.

After the jump: Dominick Cruz shares more details about his recent re-injury, and how he’s dealing with the setback.

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