Barao vs. McDonald: Round-by-Round Recap and Analysis
The UFC on Fuel TV 7 main event will feature a clash between young bantamweight stars Renan Barao and Michael McDonald.
Barao enters the bout as the 135-pound division's interim champion, McDonald its No. 1 contender.
The pairing is an intriguing one as the victor will become the de facto face of the future in the bantamweight class. The winner is also likely to welcome back official division champion Dominick Cruz later this year.
Because there is UFC gold on the line, the contest will only require five rounds.
Check here as the action gets underway for live round-by-round recap and analysis.
The competitors touch gloves and we are underway. A feeling out process ensues, and Barao misses with a spinning back-kick.
The Brazilian rushes in and tackles his opponent, then quickly transitions to side-control. McDonald just as quickly gets him back to guard. McDonald does a good job controlling Barao's arms before shoving him off and standing up.
McDonald lunges forward with a left a combo, but mostly comes up empty. He lands a counter right though after Barao looks to land.
A left from Barao followed by a leg-kick precedes another shot from Barao, but it's stuffed. The Brazilian settles for a short left hook.
McDonald explodes forward and he hurts Barao with a flurry. Barao drops to his knees, but recovers and drags McDonald down. A few punches and knees land for Barao as McDonald gets back to his feet.
A trip lands for Barao, but he's stuck in McDonald's guard. He works a few short punches to the body, but McDonald does an excellent job tying up his hands. The round ends there.
Score: 10-9 Barao
Round 2 begins with another feeling out process. McDonald launches a right that misses and Barao presses forward. A right uppercut from McDonald sends him back though.
A spinning back-kick from Barao whiffs, but McDonald cannot land on the counter. McDonald lands a left that Barao shrugs off.
McDonald connects with a right, but Barao follows up with a takedown. McDonald up quickly though, and creates some space before landing a stiff right-hand.
Barao misses with a combination, but avoids the counter from the American. An eye-poke from Barao makes McDonald wince and stalls the action for a bit.
They get back to it, McDonald rushing forward landing and eating a counter from Barao. Another exchange sees both guys land. Barao lands a nice right leg-kick-left-punch combo.
A head-kick lands for Barao. Then a leg-kick. McDonald catches it though and lands a right-hand. Another exchange and another pair of connections for each guy.
Another very close round.
Score: 10-9 McDonald
McDonald continues to be the aggressor, but Barao is countering nicely. He lands a combination that send McDonald to the fence.
Another rush from McDonald yields little, and Barao counters with a blitz. He's got McDonald against the fence, and is working to drag him down. Barao lands the takedown, but McDonald quickly bucks him off.
The action slows a bit. Barao looks for another front-kick to the head, but misses. McDonald lands a short right. Another pair of rights from McDonald, but he eats a return uppercut on the exit.
Barao misses with another head-kick. McDonald continues to attack, Barao counters once again. And again.
A spinning-back kick lands to the face for Barao and he looks to followup, but McDonald avoids any more damage.
Score: 10-9 Barao
The championship rounds begin as the fighters touch gloves.
A left from McDonald is countered by one from Barao. An ensuing exchange sees McDonald connect, but Barao backs away before the followup comes.
Barao shoots, but his takedown is stuffed easily. Barao charges forward landing a flying knees. He chases McDonald looking for a big right, but he can't place it on McDonald's chin.
McDonald avoids another takedown and ducks away from a pair of kicks from his foe. He eats another spinning-kick to the jaw though as Barao gains some separation.
McDonald is starting to slow and his blitzes are coming less frequently. Barao gains the clinch and pushes McDonald to the fence. He drags him down and gains the back. Barao then transitions to the side and sneakily locks in a head and arm choke.
McDonald gives the thumbs-up, but the choke looks deep. And there's the tap.
Barao continues his gaudy win-streak and retains the UFC interim bantamweight title with a beautiful submission victory.
Renan Barao defeats Michael McDonald via submission (3:57, Round 4)