Renan Barao was able to leave the UFC on Fuel 7 main event still the interim bantamweight champion after defeating tough challenger Michael McDonald via arm-triangle in the fourth round.
Barao started the fight off well by landing a takedown and moving into side control early on. Barao also began hitting McDonald with some nice hook combinations as the young challenger moved in.
The second round came and went with Barao starting to utilize his fast and powerful leg kicks. He also managed to hit McDonald with a solid shot before the round finished up.
The third round began with both fighters throwing some leather. Barao continued to find his timing and got the better of the exchanges.
With a few minutes left in the round, Barao hit McDonald with a big right that stunned the younger fighter. Shortly after being clipped by a McDonald uppercut, Barao landed a nice spinning back-kick that sent his opponent backwards.
The fourth round started with Barao attempting to land a leaping hook. After a few striking exchanges and a failed takedown, Barao began to work his leg kicks. He also followed those kicks with a spinning back-kick to the chest of McDonald.
Barao then tied McDonald up against the cage and secured a body lock. He succeeded in dragging him to the canvas and landed some nice knees on the way down for good measure.
Once on the mat, Barao was able to take his opponent's back. He saw McDonald trying to improve position and, displaying his Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, he locked in an arm-triangle choke that won him the fight.
Barao showed some excellent hands and kicks throughout his fight. He was able to avoid the knockout power of McDonald's right hand and use his experience to earn him the win over a very good challenger.
McDonald fought a great fight and should be commended for it, but Barao was much more experienced—and this was what won him their bout and allowed him to retain the bantamweight belt.
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