Urijah Faber vs Renan Barao: Final Preview and Prediciton

Jeffrey McKinneyContributor IIIJuly 21, 2012

February 4, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Renan Barao (right) fights against Scott Jorgensen (left) during UFC 143 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Barao defeats Jorgensen. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Despite many injuries plaguing UFC 149, the UFC has still brought us a championship fight between two of the top fighters in MMA today.

Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber will take on Renan Barao for the interim UFC Bantamweight title.

While many fans may have hoped for Faber vs. Dominick Cruz III, this is still an exciting fight that you should not miss.

Here are some things fans should be looking for in this fight.


Faber’s Experience vs. Barao’s Confidence

Although both of these fighters are seasoned vets, Faber has more experience in big fights.

Faber was the long-time WEC featherweight champion, and he has been in the cage with names like Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo and Jens Pulver.

Although he has not fought the same names as Faber, Barao has had an impressive run of his own.

Barao has not been defeated since his first MMA fight back in 2005.

That’s an impressive 29 fights without being stopped.

Barao know’s what it takes to win and will come into this bout very confident.

If I had to chose though, I would take Faber’s championship experience any day of the week.


It could be a ground war

The key to winning this fight could be who wins the ground war.

Faber may have a wrestling and strength advantage, but Barao is a black belt in jiu-jitsu and has 13 wins by submission.

Faber is no slouch in the jiu-jitsu game either, and has 14 submission victories.

I would give a slight edge to Barao on the ground, but he will have a hard time trying to submit Faber, who has never tapped out.


Who wins the stand up game?

Both guys come into this fight pretty even with the amount of KO victories they have. Faber has seven while Barao has six.

Barao will be the more diverse striker, though.

If he learned anything from training partner Jose Aldo, he will attack the legs of Faber.

Look for Barao to be the quicker and more technical striker.


Who Will Win?

This fight could really be a toss up.

On the one hand, you've got Faber, who has been waiting for UFC gold and another chance at arch rival Dominick Cruz.

His desire for another fight with Cruz could be the deciding factor.

But on the other hand, there is Barao—A guy who has not lost in 29 fights.

You don’t win that many fights by only beating low-class fighters.

While he may not have fought champions like Faber, Barao has still faced some tough competition.

It will be a close fight that could go either way, but I believe Faber will win a split decision.