After a foot injury originally forced the fight to be cancelled at UFC 161, Renan Barao will finally take on Eddie Wineland this Saturday at UFC 165's co-main event for the interim bantamweight title.
This fight has a lot riding on it, including a potential fight in 2014 between the winner and a certain UFC bantamweight champion. It's going to be an exciting one, so let's get everyone up to speed with this preview for Saturday night's co-main event.
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
When: Saturday, September 21; main card begins at 10 p.m. ET.
32-1 (1), 5-0 in UFC
The Brazilian fighter has been on a hot streak. He's riding a 31-fight unbeaten run during his MMA career and is looking like the top fighter in the weight class. He has big wins against Urijah Faber, Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett.
While Barao is a solid striker, he is stronger at winning by tapout. He's a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which he has used to win 14 fights by submission. He also has impressive takedown defense, avoiding the takedown 95 percent of the time.
The big thing to look for will be if he has fully healed from the foot injury that kept this fight from happening earlier this year. If it was a significant enough injury that he was unable to fight, it will be interesting to see if he's truly at 100 percent.
20-8-1, 2-2 in UFC
After a rough start to his career in the Octagon with losses in his first two bouts, Wineland has turned things around nicely.
He earned a shot at Barao because he's been able to turn it around. He won both of his fights in 2012, beating Brad Pickett by split decision and Scott Jorgensen by a second-round knockout.
Power is one of the big strengths for Wineland, as 10 of his wins have come by knockout. He likes to focus as a striker with that power, but he also has a solid ground game that can keep him in the fight if the action drops to the mat.
He may have had a rocky beginning in the UFC, but the man who's also a firefighter will be looking to make a big statement with a signature win against the interim champ.
This fight is in Barao's favor. While Wineland has some impressive power behind his strikes, Barao negates that to a degree because he's never been knocked out in his career.
If this fight stays on the feet, Wineland has a chance, but this is likely going to be decided on the ground. Thanks to Barao's fighting style, he's going to come away with yet another submission win.
Barao wins by second-round submission.