Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao: The California Kid No Match for the Baron

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJuly 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

Renan Barão is one of the hottest MMA fighters in the world, and Urijah Faber isn't the man to put an end to his 18-match winning streak.

Barão has gone unbeaten in his last 29 matches, compiling an MMA record of 28-1-1—his lone loss coming in his first professional fight, way back in April of 2005.

Faber, on the other hand, has struggled as of late, losing four out of his last nine fights. You wouldn't know it, though, by the way he's talking about his upcoming fight.

From Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole

"He hasn't faced me yet," Faber says, chuckling. "He's done all these things to other guys, but he hasn't fought me. He's human like anyone else."

Faber's positivity isn't surprising, but he hasn't been able to back up his words in the ring, of late.

Barão brings a wide array of talents to the table. He has won 13 fights by way of submission, which shouldn't surprise anyone, given the fact that he is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert coached by Nova Uniao.

He trains with Jose Aldo, and like Aldo, Barão is also a fierce striker, especially with his kicks. Unlike Aldo, Barão isn't a spectacular boxer, though. 

This will be Barão's first five-round, main-event fight, but don't expect him to get winded. He's in amazing shape leading up to this fight, and he's confident in his abilities (h/t OpposingViews.com):

(Faber) is a tough guy, good athlete, that's it. He is very powerful, strong, but I'm well-prepared and ready for the fight...No pressure. Just focused on the fight. I'm very calm and relaxed.

Barão is too quick and too good with his jiu-jitsu to be overwhelmed by the stronger Faber. He's going to pick Faber apart systematically, and I don't see this match going the full five rounds.

Prediction: Barão wins by submission in Round 4.