UFC 149 Fight Card: Why Renan Barao Will Kill Urijah Faber's Championship Dreams
The main event of Saturday night's UFC 149 is set to be contested by former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber, and 28-1 Brazilian sensation Renan Barao.
The fight will determine the promotion's new interim bantamweight champion.
Faber will enter the bout as the more well-known, more accomplished fighter, but that should not suggest he will enter it as the better fighter. On the contrary, that accolade belongs firmly in the corner of Barao.
For all that Faber has done in the sport of MMA he will enter UFC 149's headliner as a decided underdog (according to most sportsbook websites).
That's because there are few fighters in the sport as white-hot as Barao these days. The 25-year-old destroyer is riding 28-fight win streak and has looked unstoppable during his time in the UFC.
Barao is a submission wizard with striking to match. Though he has yet to earn a knockout during his three-fight UFC tenure, Barao has outstruck accomplished striking specialists Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen.
Faber has a strong submission game of his own, excellent wrestling and solid striking as well, though the latter attribute doesn't quite match up to Barao's.
Once a dominant champion in the sport, Faber has had found consistent success hard to come by since losing his WEC title to Mike Brown in November of 2008. Since that time he has gone just 5-4 in nine contests.
Though Faber is still a very good fighter at 135 pounds, he does not have what it takes to handle Barao and will lose at UFC 149.
A cursory glance at the matchup shows Faber with a wrestling and an experience advantage, while striking, speed and grappling rest decidedly with Barao.
Ultimately, the Brazilian's hand speed will prove to much for Faber, who will consistently take the worst of exchanges throughout the night. Barao's underrated wrestling and outlandish grappling will help him stay off his back and keep him in position to score points with his hands for the better part of five rounds.
A stoppage is possible, but Faber is certainly not an easy guy to stop. If Barao can do enough damage throughout the fight to break Faber down, a mid-late fight TKO or submission is conceivable. Otherwise, expect Barao to cruise to a decision win.
July 21, 2012 is the date Renan Barao will hold UFC gold for the first, though probably not last time.
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