Whether you just have a short downtime during work, or don't want a lengthy breakdown, these “Quick Breaks” are for you. "Quick Breaks" are short breakdowns of upcoming fights. In a summed-up focus of strengths, weaknesses and variables, this will analyze what could happen in the fight, and end with this writer’s prediction.
UFC 149 will take place tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Canada. After a shuffling around of fights due to injuries and complications, the fight card is set and fans anxiously await the unfolding of tonight’s main card. The reason for this is due to the importance of both the main and co-main events. The co-main holds a huge significance, potentially providing the next in line for Anderson Silva. But the main attraction will be Urijah Faber and Renan Barao going head-to-head for the UFC bantamweight interim championship.
In the blue corner you have Renan Barao. Barao may not be as well known as his opponent tonight, but his statistics tell a story of something greater. Barao started his career with a loss, but then went on to 28 victories and one no contest. Saying he has momentum going into this fight is a gross understatement. Whether he has faced a caliber of opponent as strong as Faber is arguable, but Barao will be ready for this challenge.
In the red corner you have Urijah Faber. “The California Kid” has had an up-and-down career over the past few years, but has always remained in the spotlight. Each time he loses, he comes back in an impressive fashion, but seems to fall short of gaining a strong winning streak. After his defeat of Brian Bowles last year, he is looking to claim the interim belt, in hopes of unifying it in his rubber match with current bantamweight champ, Dominick Cruz.
Both men have a fortitude for submissions. Most of their finishes have come by submission, and many of them early in the fight. The ground game edge goes to Barao, but every fight starts standing. This is where Faber can shine. His striking has led him to success, and he will be looking to get the better of Barao early in the first. Both men may want to prove their superiority on the ground, but this may end up being a standup war.
Faber’s opponents over much of his career have been high-level athletes, and this fight may very well show that difference between him and Barao. Barao has had great fights, but Faber poses a whole new challenge for him. Time will tell if Faber will get his shot at Cruz again, or if Cruz will have to worry about being number 30 on Barao’s “to do” list.
Prediction: Faber wins by early TKO, or decision.