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Predict the outcome of the UFC 149 main event between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao; who wins and how?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Well, seeing as how Renan Barao has said that he won't defend his traveshamockery of an interim title until Dominick Cruz is ready, and Urijah Faber has made it clear he's not putting his career on hold for Dominick Cruz (because think about it, that would be giving Cruz all the power), I'll certainly be cheering for The California Kid. Unfortunately, I think I'll be cheering for him to be getting up under his own power after Renan Barao knocks him down in the second and pounds him into dust on the canvas.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Well, there's no question that Barao is a dangerous fighter, but Faber is on a mission. I think Faber wins a close decision. I'm pretty excited for this fight, and I think this will deliver as one of the best fights of the year. I don't think Faber will be denied, and he puts on a tremendous show in victory.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Given that this fight (and card) lacks hype and talent similar to last months Franklin vs Silva II, I'd wager not many people are going to care about the outcome one way or another. Especially given that it's supposed to be the coaches fight from the previous season of Ultimate Fighter, before Dominick Cruz got hurt, and these fights rarely live up to the hype. I'll go with Faber in this one, using his experience to grind out a decision against Barao.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
Wow has this got fireworks written all over it. As durable as both of these fighters are I don't see this going beyond two rounds... I keep hearing five round war but I see this ending.
If two trains, no matter how solid they are, collide head on then at least one of them will fall off the track. I genuinely see Barao becoming a dominant champion in this division over time. I'm picking him to shock, rock and then submit Faber within two. @MMATorchUK
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Faber wins and wins big. He is better everywhere than Barao. He can win the way he wants and I think he wants to win by KO. I feel he will do this with a KO in the second round.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I have to make the safe bet and go with Faber. Barao is a fantastic fighter but it may not just be his time yet to carry a UFC title. Honestly the one thing I hope comes out of this first and foremost is an interim champion who is actually going to defend the freaking title. God knows Condit isnt going to which essentially makes interim belts a joke, so with any luck Faber or Barao will be a fighting champion rather than a waiting champion. In the end I will pick Faber to win by decision in a close but still decisive fight.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I truly believe Renan Barao is the next Bantamweight Champion. I think he respects Faber for the first round and maybe part of the second. But it won't take long for Barao to realize he's on a completely different level than everyone In the division. I see renen knocking Faber to the ground, rolling for a bit and submitting Uriah in the third. And to go ahead a pick Barao vs Cruz. Barao by second rd TKO.
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
Faber is an absolute steal at around +140 and that's where my money is going this Saturday night. Faber might only be 4-2 since the start of 2010, but take into account that his losses were to Jose Aldo and Dominck Cruz, and you can understand why I'm loathe to back the Brazilian. I was present in the arena last year when Barao ran through Brad Pickett without breaking sweat, and he looked awesome.
On the flip side I saw him dominate Scott Jorgensen earlier this year, yet he couldn't get the finish, and his stamina posed a few worthy question marks post fight. Over three rounds I'd have slightly favored Barao, but not over five rounds, based on his last performance. If Faber avoids the early onslaught, his vast experience and jack of all trades skill set, sees him through for a decision victory.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
This fight is almost too close to call because of Renan Barao's quality of opposition and how Urijah Faber has looked against fighters he hasn't been able to take down.
Barao is on a huge winning streak; some guys have been good, some guys have been bad, but none of them are anywhere near the fighter Urijah Faber is. Looking objectively at their skill sets, I'm inclined to lean towards Barao.
Seemingly, like all Nova Uniao fighters, Renan Barao has excellent takedown defense, a top notch submission game and dangerous striking. These are generally the types of guys Faber has had real trouble with.
In his career Urijah Faber lost twice to Mike Brown, dropped a fight to Tyson Griffin, lost to Dominick Cruz and was absolutely battered by Jose Aldo. Faber has lost every fight that he wasn't able to control with his wrestling and on paper I don't see the Barao fight going much differently.
I'll take Renan Barao to take a decision here. Urijah Faber is an excellent fighter, but as degenerate gamblers would say, he's a "live dog that won't win."
[Urijah Faber art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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