UFC 169: Renan Barao finishes Urijah Faber
UFC 169 in Newark, New jersey, came with some fine fights and bizarre endings, and a UFC record for decisions, leaving some fans scratching their heads while they gear up for Superbowl Sunday.
135 pound champion Renan Barao defended his title against an uber improved Urijah Faber, utilizing stunning quickness but nothing much more than straight rights down the pipe. Faber, who has been sharper than a Japanese sword lately looked dull compared to the Brazilian.
The California kid was staggered twice. The second time, Barao jumped all over him, hammering blows to Faber, who turned turtle and tried covering up. Referee Herb Dean, the UFC’s best along with Big John McCarthy, called a stop to the bout.
It’s a rule in MMA that a fighter must be intelligently defending himself, and after being dropped for the second time Faber was not. Afterwards, viewers of replays were privy to Herb Dean telling Faber to work, to show him something. Faber gave the thumbs up, but on the hand that was holding Barao’s leg, and therefore hidden.
Faber couldn’t have been more diplomatic, stating his case while also giving props to Barao and respect to Dean. It was a good stoppage considering the circumstances and the aforementioned rule, but frustrating nevertheless because Faber is right when he says, “I’m one of the most durable guys in the UFC.”
Jose Aldo turned in a relatively lackadaisical effort in a five round fight during which worthy challenger Ricardo Lamas took everything Aldo threw at him---including his patented brutal leg kicks---and even escaped full mount twice to finish the fight hammering Aldo from top position.
Lamas was never really in the fight, but showed enough sharpness and movement to be a threat throughout the bout. The problem with Aldo is he has become much more careful since winning the belt, which is odd when you consider the fact that while he has had tough fights, no one has come close to threatening him or his belt.
His training partner is Barao, and it’s Barao who has become the dynamic, unpredictable tornado in the Octagon, and a fan favourite. And it is this performance that may make fans realize Anthony Pettis could very well break Aldo in a superfight, much like he did Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone.
Former UFC champion Frank Mir and former K-1 and Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem clashed in a battle to kick one of them off his losing streak. Overeem had lost two in a row, Mir three. Another addition to the L column for either man could mean being punted from the organization.
It looked like a tough grind for Mir, who has had trouble with clinches and heavy hitters. He admitted prior to the fight that a knee from Overeem could end it. Both men were uncharacteristically respectful pre fight.
To Mir’s credit he took Overeem’s initial flurry, but unlike in his past two KO losses, the Dutchman paced himself carefully this time. Mir got top position but was unable to hold it, and Overeem held his ground on the ground, which is no surprise. He by no stretch is a top grappler in the division, but he knows what he is doing and has won straight-up BJJ contests in Europe. Overeem took the unanimous decision.
The new and improved Overeem may have his rising up the ranks mapped, but it is a formidable task. Mir, on the other hand, may have witnessed the sun set on a fine career inside the Octagon.
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