Renan Barao finally won his first major title on Saturday night defeating Urijah Faber in Calgary. The Saddledome held a sold out crowd as this Brazilian star finally met his goal. Labeled as one of the best MMA fighters to never win a major title, Renan Barao was able to take the spotlight on Saturday as the winner.
Using solid leg kicks, quick punches and landing solid knees, it appeared that Renan Barao was on a roll and Faber just couldn’t keep up with it. Barao was jubilant after the fight as he owned the octagon and paraded around it with joy.
Faber admitted that Barao fought smart and kept him at bay during the fight. He was trying to get a punch through to Barao’s face without success. Barao was just too good at keeping the distance that night and was able to throw long punches. As the fourth defeat in a row for Faber, it’s a streak he’d like to set behind him.
Fights in this losing streak include Mike Brown back-to-back losses, a loss to Jose Aldo, Barao’s training partner as well as a decision loss to Dominick Cruz, existing bantamweight champ, last summer.
Up until Saturday night Faber was able to hold championship gold with one exception, that he was hoping to switch around in Calgary. Faber was trying to get control on the mat and use his background of strong wrestling to win. He just wasn’t able to get Barao on takedowns and had to take the loss.
Scoring for the match was 49 to 46 from two judges and a 50 to 45 shutout from the third to Barao.
Renan Barao now has the chance to defend his title or put it off until Cruz returns to the ring. Cruz is currently sidelined waiting for a torn ACL to heal.
Barao said that he knew that Faber was a great fighter and athlete and came well prepared to the fight, ready for everything. This was obvious throughout the fight that ultimately led Barao to victory.