UFC 149 Results: Renan Barao Outpoints Urijah Faber, Captures Bantamweight Interim Title
Renan Barao rose to the occasion in his first main event bout under the UFC banner.
The world-ranked 135-pound standout captured the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s interim bantamweight title with a one-sided unanimous decision over Urijah Faber in the UFC 149 headliner on Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Barao (29-1) owned the scorecards by 49-46, 50-45 and 49-46 counts, notching his 19th consecutive victory.
Barao kept Faber at arm’s distance throughout the five-round affair. He grew more comfortable into a rhythm as the fight went on, landing combinations and topping off his attack with vicious leg kicks. The strategy forced Faber to alternate between orthodox and southpaw stances, largely negating his powerful right hand.
“I came well-prepared,” Barao said. “Faber is a great fighter, but this is the result [of my preparation]. My coach told me to keep [kicking the leg], and this was the result.”
Faber’s offense was limited to short bursts, none of which seemed to have much affect on the Brazilian. He shot down all of the former WEC champ's takedown attempts, mixing in punches and knees to the body during the incoming attacks. The 25-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has not lost since dropping a unanimous decision to Joao Paulo Rodrigues de Souza in his professional mixed martial arts debut in April 2005.
“I knew he would try to keep it at distance, so it was a little harder for me to get in on takedowns,” Faber said. “He hurt me pretty early with a knee to the ribs. I think my rib might be broken.”
Tim Boetsch stretched his unbeaten streak as a middleweight, as he eked out a split decision over former Bellator Fighting Championships titleholder Hector Lombard in the co-main event. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them in favor of Boetsch (16-4).
Lombard (31-3-1) shot for takedowns in the first and third rounds and delivered the most significant strike of the bout -- a second round body kick that had “The Barbarian” backpedaling in pain. However, his Octagon debut was tarnished by long periods of inactivity, and his tentative approach cost him. It left the door open for Boetsch, who scored with front kicks and power punches in a surprisingly uneventful battle at 185 pounds.
The defeat was Lombard’s first since November 2006, and snapped a streak of 20 consecutive victories for the American Top Team representative.
Cheick Kongo smothered Strikeforce vet Shawn Jordan in the clinch, scoring a unanimous decision in a largely forgettable heavyweight encounter. All three judges sided with Kongo (18-7-2) by 30-28, 30-27 and 30-27 counts, as the 36-year-old kickboxer recorded his third win in four appearances.
Jordan (13-4) had no answers for Kongo’s veteran clinch game. He found himself hopelessly pinned against the cage, neutralized and frustrated while falling victim to knees to the legs and body. A late replacement for the injured Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Jordan did little in the way of offense, outside of an elbow to the groin in the first round.
Strong clinch work, precise strikes from a distance and solid takedown defense carried James Head to a split decision over Brian Ebersole in a welterweight tilt. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Head (9-2), who has won four times in his last five outings.
Ebersole (50-15-1) never established any substantial offense, often limited to one strike at a time. He shot for a second-round takedown, but Head swept him almost immediately. Otherwise, his takedowns were mostly ineffective. By the third round, Ebserole was forced to resort to throwing punches from his knees, a strategy which also did not serve him well.
The defeat snapped Ebersole’s 11-fight winning streak.
The Ultimate Fighter 7 alum Matt Riddle submitted Chris Clements with a third-round arm-triangle choke in a welterweight showdown. Clements (11-5) was forced to submit at 2:02 into round three.
Riddle (7-3) had the Canadian badly hurt in the first round with a well-timed body kick, and controlled much of the encounter with takedowns and strong grappling. In the third round, Clements misfired on an ill-advised spinning back fist. Riddle ducked, secured the choke from a standing position, dragged the Canadian to the mat with an outside trip and finished it from there.
UFC 149 quick results:
Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46)
Tim Boetsch def. Hector Lombard via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Cheick Kongo def. Shawn Jordan via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-27)
James Head def. Brian Ebersole via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Matt Riddle def. Chris Clements via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:02 of round 3
Nick Ring def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Francisco River def. Roland Delorme via TKO (punches) at 4:19 of round 1
Ryan Jimmo def. Anthony Perosh via KO (punches) at 0:07 of round 1
Bryan Caraway def. Mitch Gagnon via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:39 of round 3
Antonio Carvalho def. Daniel Pineda via KO (punches) at 1:11 of round 1
Anton Kuivanen def. Mitch Clarke via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)