Barao’s debut under the Zuffa banner came a little more than three years ago when he not only beat Anthony Leone but did so at his adversary’s own game, tapping out the submission specialist with an Armbar in the third round. It was also the first time Leone had lost in his career, racking up an 8-0 record prior to the stumble. Ultimately, the performance would mark the first of seven straight wins for Barao in the WEC/UFC with more potentially on the horizon starting with Eddie Wineland at UFC 165.
UFC bantamweight Renan Barao may have an “interim” tag in front of his championship but few would argue he’s not every bit the divisional title-holder based on linear king Dominick Cruz‘s extended absence from competition for injury-releated reasons. Barao is on an amazing 30-fight winning streak with twenty of his victories featuring some form of finish. To further cement his status as the #1 135er in MMA, the 26-year old will look to successfully defend his belt for a second time when he faces Eddie Wineland later this month at UFC 165. Though the path Barao took from WEC newcomer to divisional elite wasn’t easy, it was definitely impressive… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)