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White: Interim Belt not Behind Barao’s Sponsorship Issues

Kelsey Mowatt

Renan Barao

Renan Barao has had another amazing year, as the UFC interim bantamweight champ has scored wins over top ranked fighters like Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland. With the victories, Barao has won six straight in the UFC now, and has defended the interim belt twice.

While things are going extremely well in Barao’s career, recently his coach and manager Andre Pederneiras surprised a few people, by relaying the P4P contender could be making more money. According to Pederneiras, Barao “is losing money every day”, because sponsors in Brazil won’t get behind an interim champ.

Well, at a recent press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Dana White was asked about the comments, and here’s what the UFC boss man had to say (comments via MMA

“He’s losing money because they’re not doing a good enough job promoting him,” White said. “That’s why they’re losing big money. They’re losing money because he isn’t out there trying get sponsors hard enough. (Barao’s) out there beating all the guys. I love Andre Pederneiras – we go way back. But Andre Pederneiras, some of the things he says are a little out there and a little crazy. It’s not because he’s the interim champion that he’s not getting sponsors.”

“It has nothing to do with him being the interim champion,” White said. “Some guys are just harder to promote. Look at Chuck Liddell. It took Chuck Liddell a long time before he broke through, and look at what a huge star he became. Sometimes it just takes time. Renan Barao doesn’t have the most explosive, dynamic personality.”

White went on to add Barao will eventually “get his due”. It’s pretty hard at this juncture to imagine that not happening.

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