Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao, which took place on July 21 from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Renan Barao finally got the opportunity to soak up the moment of having a UFC belt put around his waist on Saturday by defeating Urijah Faber by unanimous decision.
The fight was for the interim bantamweight title to determine who would face champion Dominick Cruz, but with the champ recovering from surgery, Barao will have to wait a while to get his shot.
This is a similar situation to that of the welterweight division, where champion Georges St-Pierre is sidelined due to injury. No. 1 contender Carlos Condit has chosen to wait for his title shot, but Barao should go a different direction.
UFC President Dana White even said that since the Brazilian isn’t injured, he will more than likely fight one more time before facing Cruz.
To keep Barao active, the UFC should give him Michael McDonald. McDonald is 4-0 in the UFC, including a knockout over former WEC king Miguel Torres. This is the only other option for the promotion to consider.
“Mayday” certainly wouldn’t be a step down from Faber, and would give Barao yet another test. But with his eyes on the real belt, the Brazilian will be focused to deliver on the big stage once again.
Hector Lombard made his highly anticipated UFC debut in the main event of UFC 149, but after a lackluster performance, he opened the door for Tim Boetsch to steal a split decision win.
Boetsch improved to 4-0 in his UFC middleweight career, and is now one win away from earning a title shot.
There are many names in consideration for a middleweight title shot, including Chris Weidman, who scored a second-round TKO over Mark Munoz less than two weeks ago.
UFC matchmakers have discussed Weidman as being the next to face Anderson Silva, but after Weidman defeated Munoz, the Fight Destiny for that event had Weidman taking on the winner of Boetsch-Lombard, and that should remain the case.
It may not have been pretty, but French striker Cheick Kongo picked up another Octagon win on Saturday, defeating Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision.
Kongo is one of the longest tenured heavyweights in the promotion, but he hasn’t been able to make that next leap into title contention.
It was expected to be Kongo vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 149, but “Big Nog” was forced to withdraw from the fight while sitting out to heal a broken arm.
By the time Nogueira makes a full recovery, Kongo will be ready to compete again, which gives the UFC another opportunity to match the two heavyweights up.
With the two men nearing the end of their careers, Kongo and Nogueira are only going to be in spotlight fights, and this one is no different.
Two welterweights were victorious on Saturday, with James Head defeating Brian Ebersole by split decision and Matt Riddle submitting Chris Clements in the third round.
With the two competing on the same card, it only makes sense to match the two 170-pound fighters up.
Both are currently mid-level fighters, but are a few wins away from proving to Dana White that they should be considered up-and-comers.
It may be just a prelim match-up, but expect the two to put on a good fight if given the opportunity to fight each other.
Photo: Renan Barao (Gleidson Venga/Sherdog)