Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Renan Barao has averaged two takedowns per fight since joining the UFC roster.
However, the Brazilian's 10 UFC takedowns all occurred in two of his five bouts inside the Octagon. Barao did not attempt a takedown against Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen, and he was shut down on his only takedown attempt on Brad Pickett prior to submitting the Englishman.
That should not lead opponents to believe Barao can be overconfident in his striking at times. Rather, it illustrates Barao's desire to stand with grapplers and roll with strikers, like Michael McDonald.
Barao did take McDonald down four times and eventually submitted the 22-year-old. However, the interim champion was also shut down on six of his takedown attempts at UFC on Fuel TV 7.
Multiple times, Barao shot straight in on McDonald without setting up his takedown attempts. That may have worked for Barao as he was climbing the ranks, but top-10 strikers like McDonald and Wineland have developed sufficient defensive wrestling to deny those attempts.
Without getting Wineland to focus on his hands, Pickett came up empty on a takedown attempt in the first round at UFC 155.
Pickett stood directly in front of Wineland and shot in on a double-leg attempt that nearly led to him being hit by an uppercut counter (top right). Even though he was throwing a punch while Pickett shot in, Wineland was able to defend the takedown, knowing he could keep his left hand low without threat of any strikes coming at him. That allowed Wineland to halt Pickett's momentum with a whizzer (bottom left), which led to the fight remaining standing.
Wineland has stopped 80 percent of takedown attempts he's seen. Only Faber has taken him down inside the Octagon, so Barao will need to learn from his past opponent's success against Wineland.
Excellent at fading hooks, Wineland also leaves himself open for single-leg takedowns when he gets caught swaying to avoid incoming jabs and straights.
With his upper body leaned away from his opponents, Wineland's sway leaves his lead leg for the taking (top left). When Faber feinted a jab at UFC 128, it allowed him to naturally lunge into a takedown attempt on Wineland (top right). Before Wineland had his hands back in position to defend the takedown, his left leg was already elevated (bottom left). From there, Faber simply swept Wineland's right leg out from under him (bottom right) and took the top position.
Though Wineland is not easy to take down, Barao did not show any signs of frustration when stopped by McDonald. As long as he remains relentless and mixes feints into his takedown attempts, Barao should be able to drag Wineland down a few times.