Renan Barao brought some rare excitement to a lackluster UFC 149 on Saturday night in Calgary.
Barao's unanimous decision victory over Urijah Faber provided fans with a first look at a legitimate bantamweight contender, and what he is capable of doing against the best in mixed martial arts.
In an event that was less than anticipated, a handful of fighters rose up to the challenge of adding some excitement to UFC 149.
Let's take a look.
American welterweight Matt Riddle ran his record to 7-3 on Saturday night, taking out Chris Clements via submission with a third round arm triangle. The 26-year-old has an entertaining fighting style with plenty of potential, and fans who tuned in on Saturday witnessed it.
Riddle looks to become more of a serious threat to the division in the future, and there's no reason why he can't. Wins against tough competition at big events like UFC 149 can do wonders for a fighter's confidence. Riddle's exciting result over Clements certainly stood out at an underwhelming event.
The 25-year-old Brazilian overcame one of the world's best bantamweight brawlers, Urijah Faber on Saturday night, outlasting The California Kid through five rounds to take a decision. Barao has now won his last 29 fights, and is next in line to claim the true division championship.
Although Barao could have provided some buzz for UFC 149 with a knockout of Faber, his opponent was having nothing of the sort. Faber fought a solid fight and Barao went for it all despite it being just his first title fight. Barao deserves a great deal of respect for the courage he demonstrated and the entertainment he provided fans this past weekend.
Canadian fighter Ryan Jimmo ignited the prelims with a knockout of Anthony Perosh that came just seven seconds into the fight. Although knockouts happen all the time in mixed martial arts, whenever they happen this early fans are shocked. If this had been a title fight then we would be mightily disappointed, but it was a build-up bout, and it provided the perfect warm up to the main event which was lacking in shock factor.
Jimmo's nickname is "Big Deal," and after Saturday night's first round fireworks it's not hard to see why. If the 30-year-old can continue to annihilate the competition in less than 10 seconds then he will be headed to the main card in no time.
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