On Saturday, Feb. 1, the UFC hosted UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

In the night’s main event, UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao faced off with former WEC champion Urijah Faber for a second time. Barao entered the cage having not tasted defeat in more than eight years, while Faber was riding a four-fight winning streak of his own. The pair met previously at UFC 149 with the Brazilian Barao claiming the promotion’s interim 135-pound title by unanimous decision. With former champion Dominick Cruz stripped off his title due to a lengthy absence from the Octagon, Barao looked to cement himself as the true champion with another win over the streaking Faber.

The night’s co-main event also featured UFC gold on the line as featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo defended his belt against Ricardo Lamas. Aldo, who also stepped into the cage riding an eight-year unbeaten streak, looked to remain the only fighter to wear the belt at 145 pounds in the UFC as he faced off with the Chicago native Lamas. The 31-year-old Lamas entered the title tilt having won seven of his last eight fights, including four straight in the Octagon.

Also on the main card, former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem battled former UFC champion Frank Mir, Brazilian flyweight John Lineker faced Russian Ali Bagautinov, and former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner met hard-hitting Abel Trujillo.

The 12-fight event kicked off at 6:30 p.m ET with three fights streaming on the promotion’s digital network, Fight Pass. Four additional bouts followed on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. with the five-fight, pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m.

Barao stops Faber, retains bantamweight title

Renan Barao blitzed Urijah Faber to retain the UFC bantamweight title.

Faber threw an inside leg kick at the champion to begin the main event. Faber caught a kick from Barao and made him pay for it with a punch. Faber slipped going for a body kick. Barao tried to take advantage with a wild flurry, but didn’t land on any of the punches. Barao struck Faber with an overhand right that made the challenger take notice. Barao landed another right hand that sent Faber to his rump. Barao jumped on his opponent, but Faber stayed alive. It wasn’t long before Faber was hurt again. The challenger was covering up, but he did not move when referee Herb Dean asked him to fight back and the fight was stopped.

Aldo outworks Lamas to retain featherweight title

Jose Aldo outclassed Ricardo Lamas to defend his featherweight crown for the sixth time.

Lamas threw a leg kick against the champion to start off this title bout. Both fighters looked a bit gun-shy as the first few minutes of the fight went by. Lamas threw a sidekick to the body to try to back Aldo off. Aldo was unfazed and kept moving forward. Aldo landed a left hand and went for one of his signature leg kicks. Lamas moved out of the way and landed a body kick. Aldo caught the kick and pushed Lamas down. Aldo tried to swarm, but Lamas did a great job of avoiding the punches and knees. Aldo went for a double flying knee as the bell sounded, but Lamas was ready for it.

Lamas continued to throw kicks again in the second round. Aldo just looked to be one step ahead and showed Lamas the power he has with an outside leg kick. Lamas then ate a combination to the body, but he was still able to follow up with a jab. Aldo continued to be patient, but started to open up as the round wore on. Lamas’ lead leg took some deep punishment from two straight leg kicks. Lamas finally partially landed a high kick, but he received a right hook for his trouble. Lamas kept throwing a spinning wheel kick, but Aldo was able to stay out of the way.

Aldo buckled Lamas with some big leg kicks early in the third. Lamas finally grabbed a leg to attempt his first takedown of the night. Aldo just shrugged it off and landed another leg kick. Lamas narrowly missed on an uppercut attempt. Aldo kept moving forward and landed a body punch to leg kick combo. Lamas tried to move forward with a combination, but his punches just weren’t hitting solidly. Lamas started to look like he was the more aggressive fighter near the end of the round and tagged Aldo with a nice right hand.

Aldo landed a left hand and leg kick before Lamas shot in on a single-leg attempt. Lamas even lifted up Aldo against the cage and still wasn’t able to complete the takedown. Aldo reversed the position and had Lamas up against the cage. Lamas tried to sneak in a guillotine attempt, but Aldo ended up on top. Aldo looked to pass out of half guard and set up an arm-triangle choke. Lamas tried to scramble, but Aldo used the opportunity to advance to mount. Lamas gave up his back and Aldo looked for a rear-naked choke. Lamas scrambled back up and pressed Aldo against the cage as the round came to an end.

Lamas threw a big body kick and winging right hand knowing he needed to finish the fight to get the win. Aldo saw what the challenger was trying to do and dragged him to the ground. Lamas tried to push Aldo off from butterfly guard, but made a small mistake and ended up mounted. Lamas got back to half guard and scrambled to get Aldo on his back. “The Bully” tried for some punishing ground-and-pound, but Aldo did a fine job of preventing punishment by tying Lamas up. Lamas still found some openings and connected with a couple of elbows. Lamas broke hold of Aldo once more, but he ran out of time as he looked for the finish.

Overeem batters Mir

Alistair Overeem battered Frank Mir en route to a clean sweep decision victory.

A punch to the body from Overeem was the first strike of this heavyweight bout. Mir missed on an overhand punch and Overeem used it to clinch and connect with a knee to the body. Overeem clinched again and got a knee to the head this time. Mir was wobbly and Overeem pounced. It looked like it might be over, but Mir got back to his feet. He ate some big knees to the body in the process. Mir threw some knockout-caliber blows when the two got back to the feet, but they didn’t land on Overeem’s chin. They clinched once again and Mir dropped down to go for a leg lock. Overeem defended well and ended up in Mir’s half guard. Overeem landed some solid strikes on the ground as the round came to a close.

Overeem landed a jab and Mir followed with a leg kick as the second frame got underway. The two clinched, but Overeem just threw Mir to the ground. Overeem didn’t follow Mir to the mat this time. After the referee broke up an inactive clinch, Mir scored a takedown. Mir went all out for a guillotine choke that looked like it might be tight, but Overeem broke right out of it like it was nothing. Overeem made Mir pay for that submission attempt with some big elbows. It took Mir a while, but he was finally able to get back to the full guard. Mir tried to use the fence to aid an armbar attempt, but Overeem stood back up once he saw what was coming.

Mir looked to take the fight to the ground early in the last, but had to settle for pulling guard. Overeem stood up out of the guard and let Mir get up. Mir went for another takedown right away, but Overeem stuffed it and ended up on top. Mir looked for some submissions from the guard, but Overeem stayed active enough with punches and elbows to keep that from happening. Overeem stood back up with a minute to go in the fight. He nailed Mir with a heavy right hand, but that was about it for the rest of the fight.

Bagautinov outclasses Lineker

Ali Bagautinov used superior grappling in the first and third rounds to win a decision over John Lineker.

Lineker took the center of the cage early and started moving forward. He backed Bagautinov back against the cage, but he got taken down right away for his troubles. Bagautinov was in Lineker’s full guard and he looked to posture up and land some ground-and-pound. He wasn’t very successful at first, but he started to wear down the Brazilian and get some through. Bagautinov stood up and Lineker looked to go for a leg lock. Bagautinov dropped down and went for a leg lock of his own. Lineker let go first and escaped the trouble to get back to the feet with about a minute and change left in the round. Lineker went for a body kick, but it was caught and he was taken down once again. This time Bagautinov started off in half guard, and Lineker looked for a kimura as the round came to a close.

Lineker looked for a knee right off the bell in the second, but Bagautinov moved out of the way. Lineker was still the man moving forward with the center of the Octagon even after his troubles getting taken down in the first. Bagautinov went for a double leg and the two ended up against the cage, where both landed stiff right hands. Lineker kept moving forward and landed some hard punches to the body. He got Bagautinov guessing, and Lineker was able to take advantage and land an uppercut. Bagautinov had enough of those body shots and went for a takedown. Lineker was able to stay upright for the second straight attempt. Bagautinov landed a nice left hand and body kick when the two returned to the feet. Bagautinov took one last attempt to score a takedown late in the round, but Lineker saw it coming once again.

Lineker took the center of the cage again to begin the final and, most likely, deciding round. Bagautinov came forward and landed a knee to the body and followed it up with a body-lock takedown. Lineker got back to his feet, but Bagautinov brought him right back down. Lineker clearly winced at the hard takedown and Bagautinov advanced his position. Lineker used a kimura attempt to get back to his feet, but it was brief again as Bagautinov took him down quickly. Bagautinov opened up with some good right hands from half guard. Lineker looked to stand back up with less than two minutes left. He finally got back to the stand-up game, but it looked like the prior takedown was still causing problems for him. Bagautinov landed a left hand and took down Lineker one more time. Lineker went for a leg lock as a last ditch effort, but all Bagautinov did was showboat while Lineker looked for it.

Trujillo knocks out Varner in war

Abel Trujillo got the last strike in to knockout Jamie Varner in an absolute slugfest.

Trujillo started off by throwing some of his signature haymakers. None connected very well, and Varner landed a good right in the first exchange. Both men continued to swing wildly until Trujillo initiated a clinch. Varner turned that clinch into a takedown and took Trujillo’s back. Trujillo bucked Varner off of his back, but Varner was able to transition to a north-south choke attempt. Varner finally let go after going for the choke for over a minute. Once he let go, the two returned to the feet and started swinging wildly. Trujillo got the better of that particular exchange with a right hand.

Varner threw a front kick early in the second to try to back off Trujillo. Trujillo stayed aggressive, but was met with a huge left that rocked him. Trujillo recovered quickly and rocked Varner with a left. The back-and-forth continued, and Varner rocked Trujillo to the point where he went for a takedown. Varner pounded him with some ground-and-pound, but Trujillo made his way back to the feet. Varner engaged the wobbly Trujillo in a slugfest and paid for it. Trujillo nailed Varner with a right hook that knocked the former WEC champ out cold.

Preliminary Card Summary

Alan Patrick scored an upset victory over John Makdessi by decision. Makdessi used great takedown defense throughout this fight to keep it in the realm where he is most comfortable. It was a kickboxing match for the majority of the fight, but Patrick did more than hold his own. Patrick looked like the much bigger fighter out of the two. He tried a variety of spinning attacks early on, but none really connected cleanly. Patrick’s takedown attempts were like bum rushes, but Makdessi defended all but one throughout the fight. Makdessi  scored with some good body shots throughout, but the judges scored the fight on Patrick’s aggressiveness.

Chris Cariaso used a strong jab to better Danny Martinez for a decision win. Martinez went for the takedown early on. He didn’t get it initially, but he constantly kept the pressure on Cariaso. He eventually scored the takedown, but didn’t do too much damage. Cariaso had a much better time in the second round. His strikes hit the mark on Martinez and he avoided the takedown better. The third was fairly similar, but “Kamikaze’s” jab seemed to be the difference and he earned a close decision.

Nick Catone did just enough to earn a split decision victory over Tom Watson. Watson went out and threw a front kick to the face that missed the mark. Watson’s plan of attack through the rest of the round was leg kicks. He walked Catone down, but got taken down late, which put the round’s winner up in the air. The second round saw Catone have a bit more success with the takedown. Watson got in some shots, but Catone had the advantage when it came to control. The third round was probably the closest out of the three. Watson had the better success on the feet once again, but takedowns earned the round for Catone in the eyes of two of the judges.

Al Iaquinta earned his third straight UFC victory with a close decision over Kevin Lee. Iaquinta rocked Lee very early on. The fans jumped out of their seats, but Lee was able to recover. Lee found himself in even more trouble later in the round. Iaquinta had a tight leg lock, but Lee again persevered and made it out of the hold. The second round was an entirely different story. Lee took Iaquinta down early on and had a body triangle locked on to the New Yorker’s back for the entire round. At one point, it looked like Iaquinta was close to going out to a rear-naked choke, but he broke Lee’s grip and made it out. The final round was a close striking battle. Iaquinta earned the judges’ nod with good combinations that ended with an uppercut.

Clint Hester outworked Andy Enz in a light heavyweight slugfest. Hester rocked Enz early on, but the newcomer fought back and hit Hester with some good shots. The next two rounds were pretty much the same. Hester was clearly the better man and got the better of the striking exchanges, but Enz was game and kept coming forward. All of the judges awarded Hester the fight, even one giving him a 10-8 first round.

Rashid Magomedov recovered from nearly being submitted early in round one to win his UFC debut by decision. Tony Martin grabbed hold of Magomedov shortly after the bell sounded and completed the takedown. Martin immediately started looking for a kimura lock. He then transitioned to an armbar. He had the arm fully extended and Magomedov was screaming in pain, but somehow Magomedov got out of the hold. In the second round, Magomedov looked to be the fresher fighter and controlled the striking game. Magomedov was the better man in the third as well, and he nearly submitted Martin with a guillotine choke. Martin survived that attempt, but lost by unanimous decision.

Neil Magny showed great movement and takedown defense in a job-saving performance. Magny was taken down by Gasan Umalatov early in the first, but that was one of only two times that he would be taken to the mat. Magny improved as the fight went on. His striking was very crisp and he was extremely light on his feet. Magny was even able to take Umalatov’s back late in the second. Umalatov busted up Magny with a nasty hematoma between the eyes, but it was still clear that the TUF veteran was the better man on this night, as he took a unanimous decision on the scorecards.

FULL RESULTS
Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:42 – for bantamweight title
Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) – for featherweight title
Alistair Overeem def. Frank Mir by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ali Bagautinov def. John Lineker by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Abel Trujillo def. Jamie Varner by knockout (punch). Round 2, 2:32
Alan Patrick def. John Makdessi by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Chris Cariaso def. Danny Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Nick Catone def. Tom Watson by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Al Iaquinta def. Kevin Lee by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)
Clint Hester def. Andy Enz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Rashid Magomedov def. Tony Martin by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Neil Magny def. Gasan Umalatov by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.