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UFC 149 Results: Renan Barao and the Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in the UFC

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2016

UFC 149 Results: Renan Barao and the Top 25 Pound-for-Pound Fighters in the UFC

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    On Saturday night, the UFC made its first ever trip to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as UFC 149 featured an interim bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao.

    In a five-round decision, Barao defeated Faber with scores of 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46. The rest of the card featured some big names such as Tim Boetsch and Hector Lombard but none in the top 25 pound-for-pound fighters.

    After a big fight in the bantamweight division, let's take a look at where Barao and Faber rank across all divisions.

No. 25: Vitor Belfort

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    First up is Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort. Belfort is 7-1 in his last eight fights, with the only loss coming at the hands—technically, foot—of Anderson Silva.

    Those fights were contested at several different weight classes, ranging from 205 lbs to 185 lbs, with several stops in between.

    Belfort was forced to pull out of a fight against Wanderlei Silva due to a broken hand, and his next fight has yet to be announced.

No. 24: Chad Mendes

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    Chad Mendes was a big winner on Saturday night, as he earned a TKO victory over Cody McKenzie just seconds into the first round.

    Mendes has officially rebounded from his loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 142, and he put himself in line to earn another title fight, or at least, a top contender fight.

No. 23: Ian McCall

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    Ian McCall is almost universally considered the No. 3 flyweight in the world, behind both Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez.

    The UFC flyweight division is still relatively small, but perhaps, a fight with the other loser in the mini-tournament, Yasuhiro Urushitani, is in the cards for McCall.

No. 22: Urijah Faber

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    On Saturday night, Urijah Faber dropped a unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to the new interim bantamweight champion—Renan Barao.

    Faber seemed to have no answer for anything Barao was doing, as his kicks were able to keep Faber on the outside and spending most of his time defending.

    Faber is undoubtedly the No. 3 bantamweight in the world, but with losses in his last five title fights, he just can't keep up with the best of the best in the division.

No. 21: Martin Kampmann

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    Martin Kampmann has proven to be a threat in the welterweight division as of late.

    His last two victories have been come-from-behind wins against both Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger—the first ending in a third-round submission and the second in a Round 2 TKO.

    As discussed by Adam Guillen Jr. of MMAMania, Kampmann's next fight is rumored to be against Johny Hendricks, for a No. 1 contender spot against the winner of Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit.

No. 20: Nate Diaz

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    In Nate Diaz's last fight, he was able to do something that no fighter before him had done—finish Jim Miller.

    Miller has lost four times in his career, to Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson and Diaz. Diaz was the only one to finish him.

    With three straight wins since returning to the lightweight division, Diaz earned the right to await the winner of the upcoming Frankie Edgar-Benson Henderson rematch.

No. 19: Johny Hendricks

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    Johny Hendricks has been the biggest mover in the welterweight division in the last 12 months, scoring two huge victories over former title challengers Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.

    He knocked out Fitch in just 12 seconds and earned a split decision over Koscheck.

    Hendricks was hoping to get a crack at the winner of Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre, but he will, instead, face Martin Kampmann for a No. 1 contender spot.

No. 18: Mauricio Rua

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    Mauricio Rua remains in the top 25, as he's still a top-five light heavyweight.

    Shogun was last seen at UFC 139, where he had arguably the greatest fight in MMA history against Dan Henderson. Shogun lost a unanimous decision in that bout.

    He will return in the main event of UFC on Fox 4 against Brandon Vera.

No. 17: Chael Sonnen

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    Chael Sonnen came into the fight at UFC 149 with everything to prove. He had a chance to dethrone the greatest fighter of all time and back up all of his trash talk.

    For the first five minutes, he did just that, as he took down and controlled Anderson Silva.

    Then, in the second round, Silva did what he does best, as he used his pinpoint striking to finish Sonnen by TKO.

    However, Sonnen remains the No. 2 middleweight in the division and a top-25 pound-for-pound fighter.

No. 16. Renan Barao

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    Renan Barao is officially one of the UFC's elite, as he's now a UFC champion.

    Barao won the interim bantamweight title on Saturday with his five-round decision over Urijah Faber.

    Barao had said that he planned to wait for Dominick Cruz and unify the titles, and it appears Dana White believes the same thing.

    Barao vs. Cruz should be a very interesting fight.

No. 15: Gray Maynard

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    The former lightweight title challenger, Gray Maynard, is almost universally considered to be a top-three lightweight in the world.

    Maynard was last seen in action at UFC on FX 4, where he earned a unanimous decision over Clay Guida in a fight that saw Maynard, and not Guida, be the fan favorite.

    Maynard will likely fight a top contender next.

No. 14: Cain Velasquez

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    Cain Velasquez is the former UFC heavyweight champion, and he's on a mission to reclaim the belt from Junior dos Santos.

    If Velasquez's last fight against Antonio Silva is any indication, there may be no stopping Velasquez. He took Silva down in mere seconds and TKO'd him in the first round.

    Junior had better make sure his takedown defense is as good as ever for the rematch.

No. 13: Demetrious Johnson

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    Demetrious Johnson is a one-time bantamweight title challenger and soon-to-be flyweight title challenger.

    After earning a unanimous decision over Ian McCall, Johnson put himself in the finals of the tournament to crown the UFC's first-ever flyweight champion.

    "Mighty Mouse" will face Joseph Benavidez at some point in the future.

No. 12: Joseph Benavidez

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    Joseph Benavidez is considered, by many, to be the uncrowned flyweight champion of the world. With the close fights that Demetrious Johnson had with Ian McCall, many think that Johnson will not be able to compete with Benavidez.

    In Benavidez's career, he has only lost twice, and both of those came at the hands of the bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

    Benavidez will look to finally get a belt by beating Johnson at a date to be announced.

No. 11: Rashad Evans

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    Rashad Evans fell short in his title-reclaiming effort against Jon Jones, but he'll certainly be back to fight for the title again.

    In the meantime, Evans is stuck in a Jon Fitch (pre-Johny Hendricks) type of situation, where he is one of the best fighters in the division but may have nothing to offer the champion.

No. 10: Carlos Condit

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    Carlos Condit is the interim UFC welterweight champion, and he won the title back in February when he defeated Nick Diaz by close unanimous decision.

    Condit, then, elected to sit out and wait for Georges St-Pierre to recover, and a title unification fight is scheduled for UFC 154.

No. 9: Dan Henderson

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    Dan Henderson just gets better with age.

    At 41 years old, Henderson is as good as ever and will be fighting for a UFC title for the third time in September.

    Henderson has won six of his last seven fights, including knockouts at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. That's pretty impressive.

No. 8: Frankie Edgar

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    As a former lightweight champion and a man fighting at least one weight class higher than he possibly could, Frankie Edgar belongs this high on the pound-for-pound list.

    After UFC 150, Edgar will have fought the same three opponents in his last six fights. Win or lose, I'm sure he'll be looking for new opportunity.

    Perhaps, the featherweight division is calling him.

No. 7: Benson Henderson

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    The UFC's most recent official champion is also the lowest ranked of all the champions.

    Benson Henderson won the lightweight title when he defeated Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision at UFC 144 in Japan.

    Now, Henderson will have a rematch with Edgar as the main event of UFC 150.

No. 6: Junior dos Santos

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    At UFC 146, Junior dos Santos scored a TKO victory over Frank Mir, just as everyone assumed that he would.

    Earlier, on the same card, Cain Velasquez earned a No. 1 contender spot when he defeated Antonio Silva.

    Dos Santos and Velasquez are now rumored to have a rematch at UFC 152.

No. 5: Dominick Cruz

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    "The Dominator" is yet another fighter who was forced out of a fight due to injury.

    Dominick Cruz was set to face Urijah Faber for a third time in the co-main event of UFC 148, but a torn ACL forced him from the fight.

    When he returns, he will likely face Saturday night's winner—Renan Barao.

No. 4: Jose Aldo

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    Jose Aldo remains in the No. 4 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

    Aldo has decimated his competition at 145 pounds and was set to face Erik Koch at UFC 149, but an injury forced him from the card.

    His next fight will likely be against Koch and is tentatively set for UFC 153.

No. 3: Georges St-Pierre

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    Georges St-Pierre has finally dropped from the No. 2 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

    Some will be happy to see this change, and others will be absolutely livid. There are arguments for both sides, but the panel of writers has spoken, and St-Pierre is now No. 3.

    He will return to face Carlos Condit to unify the titles at UFC 154.

No. 2: Jon Jones

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    It has finally happened. Georges St-Pierre is no longer one of the top two pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.

    Inactivity has ruined St-Pierre's momentum, as Jones has defeated three top contenders since St-Pierre's last fight.

    Jones will look to make it four top contenders when he faces Dan Henderson at UFC 151.

No. 1: Anderson Silva

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    Anderson Silva remains entrenched as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, with 15 straight victories in the UFC, 10 title defenses and 13 finishes during that time.

    At UFC 148, Silva defeated Chael Sonnen by second-round TKO and cemented himself as the greatest fighter in MMA history.


    Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.

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