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Tag: Renan Barao

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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[INJURYCEPTION] Injured Champ Dominick Cruz Re-Injures Himself While Recovering From Injury, Now Out Most of 2013


(Dominick Cruz, seen here seconds after being made aware that Dominick Cruz had been injured yet again.) 

It just doesn’t end, you guys. It. Doesn’t. Fucking. End.

The insatiable injury curse of 2012 — seemingly fed up with claiming non-injured, active fighters — has somehow grown powerful enough to affect those who were already injured to begin with. NO, IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.

And while the title may be a little misleading being that bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz didn’t truly re-injure himself, but rather failed to recuperate properly from the ACL injury that has kept him out of action since May, it looks like we won’t be seeing “The Dominator” dominating anything but a Domino’s delivery menu until late 2013 [WORDPLAY]. The newsbroke earlier today that the anterior cruciate ligament Cruz had replaced with that of a cadaver’s following his run on TUF 15 was rejected by his body, forcing the champ to undergo additional surgery in order repair/replace it.

“He’s pissed and disappointed,” remarked Cruz’s trainer Eric Del Fierro, echoing the sentiment of not only MMA fans around the world but that of MMA hack journalists such as myself.

I mean, I’m running out of ways to continue delivering bad news to you guys in this format. Creativity be damned; I feel like a World War 2 messenger at this point, just handing out notifications of death to the families of the deceased, trying to remain as emotionally unavailable as possible while little Jimmy Pocket and his Mom stare at me with tear-filled eyes. No Jimmy, your father isn’t coming home this Christmas. And that really awesome toy you wanted? You won’t be getting that either, because Santa never existed and now your Mom will have to pull double shifts at the diner and sell her body for money nightly just so you can eat canned hot dogs and stay off the street long enough to die with some dignity at age 7, when, following your Mom’s inevitable descent into cocaine and then full-on heroin addiction she’s since developed as a coping mechanism for being ravaged by the local charlatans and bottom-feeders day after day, she will fall asleep with a cigarette in her mouth and burn your house to the ground while you are dreaming of something, anything to remove you from the hellish nightmare your existence has become.

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“The California Kid” is Back, Faces Vaughan Lee in #1 Contender Bout at UFC 156 [BA DUM TSSH]


(“It looks like this artist…*puts on sunglasses*… finally got his SHOT at fame. YEAAAAHHHH!!!) 

There is perhaps no fighter in MMA history who has looked more deadly in victory and more broken in defeat than former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber. After dropping his umpteenth title bid (albeit one of those pesky interim ones) to Renan Barao at UFC 149, many MMA pundits were calling for “The California Kid’s” retirement, because in their eyes, being able to beat 98% of your division just isn’t good enough to warrant your existence.

Yet for some reason, it appears that Faber still wants to continue making boatloads of cash in this thing called MMA, and will return at UFC 156 to face off against Vaughan Lee.

Who in the blue Hell is Vaughan Lee, you ask? Good question.

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Bantamweight Interim Champ Renan Barao Will Likely Defend His Title Against Michael McDonald


(Don’t fart…don’t fart…don’t fart…don’t fart…)

Well here’s a bit of good news for once.

If you’re like us, you’re probably sick to death of watching interim champions all but refuse to defend their titles while the actual champions remain on the shelf. So when Renan Barao’s camp announced that he would be taking the Carlos Condit approach to the interim title, we here at the CP offices let out a collective groan before pouring another round of Johnnie Walker Blue Label on the rocks — also known as our HR department — and prepared for a long winter of semi-meaningful-but-not-really bantamweight fights. Thankfully, Dana White is a Johnnie Walker man, and after he smashed a bottle of it over Danga’s head, we managed to come to an agreement regarding the UFC’s last remaining interim champ.

White recently told MMAWeekly that Barao will likely be defending his belt before champion Dominick Cruz is back in action, and his potential opponent should come as a surprise to no one.

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Renan Barao, Carlos Condit, and Why the UFC Needs to Eliminate Interim Titles


(“OK guys, the winner gets an interim belt, the loser has to purchase a replica from Wal-Mart. I assure you that they both carry the exact same value.”) 

In a recent interview with Latin American online news network, UOL, bantamweight interim champion Renan Barao‘s coach, Andre Pederneiras, declared that Barao would not be defending his interim strap and instead would wait for Dominick Cruz to recover from the ACL injury that set up Barao vs. Urijah Faber at UFC 149. And before the MMA media could even begin to make the comparison to Carlos Condit, Pederneiras did it for us, stating:

[Barao] just won the title, he just fought. We will wait. Look how long the wait was for Condit and GSP to unify the belt?

Where Pederneiras was attempting to use the Condit comparison as a justification for Barao’s decision to essentially put the bantamweight division on hold for the time being, he unknowingly summed up the inherent pointlessness of the interim title in the first place.

As you are all aware, the interim title essentially serves as a placeholder for the division’s number one contender (at the time) in the absence of a champion. The problem being that, by declaring the number one contender to be “a champion” when they are anything but — and I mean this with all due respect to Condit and Barao — you are basically giving a contender a power that they have not rightfully earned: the power to pick and choose who they fight.

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Photo: Chael Sonnen Believes in Therapy Through Laughter

Urijah Faber may have come up short in every sense of the word against Renan Barao last weekend, but fortunately for him, he received some sound advice from undisputed middleweight champion Chael Sonnen in the aftermath of his loss that will undoubtedly alter the course of his career from this day forward. As you recall, Sonnen became the first man in MMA History to defeat Anderson Silva twice at UFC 148, when he straight-up embarrassed the now-retired “pound-for-pound great” by KO’ing him with a second round spinning backfist so spectacular that the WWE had to steal it to make one of their fights more entertaining and less gay and stuff.

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Survey: Which Current Champion Has the Most Impressive Win Streak in MMA?


(I’ve got 25, 25, do I hear 26 for this authentic Cuban-born champion? I’ve got 25, do I hear 26? 26?! 26?!!! Sold at 25!) 

After battering and busting up Urijah Faber en route to his 29th straight victory, newly-crowned interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao proved to the world at UFC 149 that his win streak was the product of hard work and dedication, not the culmination of years spent crushing cans that seemed to be the case for a certain somebody making his long awaited debut just one fight before. This is not to say that Hector Lombard doesn’t push himself as a fighter — by all accounts he does the exact opposite, in fact — but to say that Lombard was the first fighter to come to the UFC on a huge win streak, only to have said streak invalidated almost immediately would be a bold faced lie (Jason Reinhardt, anyone? How about our buddy Sean McCorkle?).

But when guys who have spent years fighting below their level come up short on the big stage, it just makes it all the more impressive to see the Barao’s and Ryan Jimmo‘s of the world succeed in living up to their hype. Simply put, it’s no coincidence that most of the guys with the greatest win streaks in the sport are all champions, and the rest are either made up (I shall refer you to the infamous tale of Craig Rehage as my primary example) or busted as soon as the fighter faces some legit competition.

However, when trying to determine which champion has the most impressive win streak of them all, we surprisingly found ourselves at odds. Some of us went with the obvious choice in Anderson Silva, some of us thought that Jon Jones’ streak was more impressive, and ReX thought that Ronda Rousey’s run stood atop them all before snatching a copy of her ESPN magazine shoot and running off to our executive bathroom. He has yet to return.

So as is often the case when we are struggling to decide upon an issue, we will hand the power over to you, Potato Nation. After the jump, you will find a survey. The topic: “Which Current Champion Has the Greatest Win Streak in MMA?” You WILL vote on this poll, and you WILL leave us your convincing arguments in the comments section. Sound good?

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‘UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao’ Aftermath — Filling in the Blanks


Fact: You had a 63% better chance of seeing a fight at a Calgary Flames game than you did at UFC 149, according to a study I made up for this caption. Props: The Calgary Sun

When I first sat down to write this aftermath, I wrote five paragraphs of a Jim Cornette rant about how dreadful the main card of UFC 149 was to sit through. Even the most jaded UFC fan boys – the types who comment “Its fights stop complaneing ur not real UFC fan if u dont liek this TapouT tribal tatz NEVER BACK DOWN!!!!!” on YouTube videos of Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio Mckee- would be hard-pressed to say that UFC 149 was worth watching, let alone paying for. Then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair. Not because a longwinded rant about boredom isn’t a fair assessment of the main card, but rather it isn’t fair to the fans to force them to relive the lowest of the low points from last night. We can all agree that the less that is written about the main card, the better.

So in that spirit, I give you the first ever Cage Potato Fill-In-The-Blank aftermath. Simply pick one of the applicable fighters listed below and plug his name into the blanks. The result will be a mostly accurate analysis of both his performance last night and the future ramifications brought on by it. Enjoy.

Applicable Fighters*: James Head, Brian Ebersole, Cheick Kongo, Shawn Jordan, Tim Boetsch**, Hector Lombard.

I know that the Polly Pessimists and Debby Downers who make up the MMA media are often too hard on fighters, but in this case it’s well deserved: The performance of __________ at last night’s UFC 149 absolutely sucked. He let a golden opportunity slip through his fingers, and seemed perfectly content with this while doing so. If last night was a first date with a perfect ten, then he showed up in sweatpants, took her to Whataburger and then asked for gas money on the ride home.

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