UFC 143 Predictions: Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
The story of this weekend's UFC event is centered around that of Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit—a welterweight clash that will determine the next interim welterweight champion.
However, another pivotal matchup will also be taking place come later tonight, as bantamweight contenders Renan Barao and Scott Jorgensen meet on the main card of the talent laden pay-per-view event.
Jorgensen has long been a viable fixture among the best of the 135-pound class, as the heavy-handed wrestler has used his brute strength and athleticism to carry him to victory time and time again.
After dropping a lackluster decision to champion Dominick Cruz in their final appearance under the WEC banner, "Young Guns" came storming back, this time under the bright-lights of the UFC, taking on Ken Stone.
Jorgensen worked the American Top Team product to the mat, where he uncorked a hellish barrage of strikes, leaving Stone knocked out from the ground-and-pound blows inside of the first round.
Next, Jorgensen took on the well-respected Jeff Curran, earning a clear-cut decision win over the 14-year vet, courtesy of his formidable wrestling skills, honed in Boise State University where he took NCAA Division-I All-American honors.
Barao, though quiet in his demeanor, is a loud and abrasive character inside the cage. The Nova Uniao product has rattled off an incredible 28-fight unbeaten streak, which includes four victories under the Zuffa banner.
Barao recently got his biggest taste of the limelight last November, taking on perennial contender Brad Pickett in the co-main event for UFC 138. Barao rocked and dropped "One Punch" with a high knee and strikes, deftly taking his back where the rear-naked choke was cinched moments later. Pickett yielded the tapout and Barao earned the first-round submission win in a "Fight of the Night" performance.
Both Barao and Jorgensen sit pretty at the top of the division, however, it's the up-and-coming Brazilian who has just a little more gusto. Showing a high level of skills in all areas, no matter where the fight goes, Barao will be able to impose his will against Jorgensen, who is going to be playing catch-up the for the entire 15-minutes.
In the end, Barao will have earned an impressive decision win and likely become the new No. 1 contender to the bantamweight crown, which will first be up for grabs this Summer as rivals Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz square off in a highly anticipated rubber match after their stint as coaches on Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter.
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