Renan Barao is the former UFC bantamweight champion, currently fighting at featherweight.
Early UFC CareerEdit
He was most recently set to make his UFC debut versus fellow prospect Demetrious Johnson, until Johnson replaced Brad Pickett against Miguel Torres. Former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo -- also a UFC newcomer -- stepped in to face Barao instead. He defeated Escovedo via unanimous decision.
Barao next faced WEC veteran and UFC newcomer Brad Pickett, defeating Pickett via impressive first-round rear-naked choke submission.
Barao next signed to face dangerous and powerful contender Scott Jorgensen. He defeated Jorgensen via a dominant unanimous decision, stepping into the title picture in the UFC bantamweight division.
Interim UFC Bantamweight ChampionEdit
Barao next stepped in for critically injured UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz to face former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber for the interim UFC bantamweight championship. Barao defeated Faber via an impressively clearcut unanimous decision to become the champion.
After Cruz reinjured himself in early December 2012, Barao stated his intention to defend the interim title. It was then announced that his first defense would be against prospect Michael McDonald. Barao defeated McDonald via fourth round arm triangle choke submission after a competitive fight.
Cruz was stated to be still facing a lengthy recovery so Barao announced his intention to defend his interim title for an unprecedented second time, this time against former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland. Barao was unfortunately injured and forced to pull out.
After recovering, the fight was rescheduled for later in 2013. Barao defeated Wineland via a slightly controversial but decisive second round technical knockout to defend the belt for the second time.
In late October 2013 Barao signed to finally unite the belts against champ Dominick Cruz in February 2014. Cruz was unfortunately injured in January 2014 and replaced by Urijah Faber for a rematch. Barao scored a controversial first round technical knockout over Faber to solidify his status as the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion.
Losing The TitleEdit
After the main event for UFC 173 fell through two months in advance, Barao stepped in to save the event and defend his belt for the fourth time against Faber's teammate TJ Dillashaw. Dillashaw dominated Barao en route to a fifth round knockout victory.
Barao was next set to for an immediate rematch against Dillashaw but passed out the day of the weigh-ins and was replaced on such short notice by UFC newcomer Joe Soto.
Barao next signed to fight Mitch Gagnon in quite a step down in competition. Gagnon put up a surprisingly competitive fight but ultimately Barao submitted him in the third round with an arm triangle choke submission.
Barao next fought a rematch for the title against Dillashaw losing again by knockout this time in just the fourth round of the fight.
Barao took some time off before next deciding to move up to the UFC featherweight division. His opponent for the move would be hardhitting contender Jeremy Stephens.
- Renan Barao vs. Chris Cariaso
- Renan Barao vs. Brad Pickett - The fight was the UFC debut of Brad Pickett.
- Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
- Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber - The fight was for the UFC interim bantamweight title. Barao was replacing undisputed champion Dominick Cruz after an injury.
- TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao 2 - The fight was for the UFC bantamweight title with TJ Dillashaw defending.