Renan Barao won the UFC interim bantamweight championship after a unanimous decision win over Urijah Faber in the main event of UFC 149 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Alberta, Canada.
With bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz out with an injury, the main event between the two contenders was slated to be for an interim belt and a future shot at the champ. Barao relied on leg kicks and a variety of flying and spinning strikes to keep Faber on the outside for most of the fight and Faber was rendered ineffective by the distance as the 25-year-old Barao picked up the win to claim his first UFC title.
Action started slow for both fighters with Barao landing only a handful of significant strikes in the opening round. Things started to pick up a little after that, with Barao starting to connect on leg kicks. Faber spent most of the fight backing away from it or circling around and failed to launch much offense against Barao.
Though Faber came out more aggressive in the later rounds, and both men landed in a couple of decent exchanges, Barao cruised to the unanimous decision, winning 49-46, 50-45 and 49-46 on the judges’ scorecards.
By the end of the five-round fight, the Canadian crowd was booing to show their dismay at the fight card that not only lacked quality finishes, but also lacked star power as the card was decimated by injuries.
Aldo, Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, Shogun Rua, Michael Bisping and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira were all previous slated to appear on the card but were either pulled out due to injury or moved to a different card. Four out of the five fights on the main card went to a decision.
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