7 Questions for Renan Barao


Renan “Barao” could emerge as a title contender with a victory at UFC 138. | Photo: Sherdog.com


Renan “Barao” has spent much of his career competing in relative obscurity, but a 27-fight unbeaten streak tends to get one noticed.

The 24-year-old Nova Uniao prospect will meet American Top Team’s Brad Pickett in the UFC 138 “Leben vs. Munoz” co-main event on Saturday at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England. The winner could find himself thrust into title contention in a division starved for new-blood challengers for reigning bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

Barao made his promotional debut at UFC 130 in May, as he recorded his 16th consecutive victory and defeated former WEC champion Cole Escovedo by unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A deft finisher, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has recorded 18 of his 26 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

In this exclusive interview with Sherdog.com, Barao discusses the preparation for his all-important showdown with Pickett, training alongside UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and moving down to the 135-pound division.


Barao: My training was 100 percent. I did a lot of physical preparation, wrestling, boxing and jiu-jitsu. I’m training with the entire Nova Uniao staff and helped those who were fighting before me. They helped me, too. It was great.


Barao: I arrived here four months ago. I’m living in an apartment that Andre Pederneiras leaves for people who live outside of Rio so they can train here. I’m there with Ronys Torres, Carlos [Alexandre] “Indio” [Pereira] and some other athletes on the team. We’re all very good friends. We help each other, and that’s pretty cool.

Brad Pickett File Photo


Pickett has won 10 of 11.


Barao: Pickett is a tough, experienced guy who always fights well. I’m sure that it will be a great fight. Although this is his UFC debut, he’s experienced and has fought in major promotions like the WEC and Cage Rage. It will be a great challenge.


Barao: The UFC has an atmosphere that’s very different from what was in the WEC. I thought I had a good debut, but I could have fought better. During the fight, I found that the way to victory was the takedown, so I unleashed my game. I thought the public and UFC officials liked it, but I think I could have won it earlier without taking it to a decision.


Barao: No, I don’t think about the title. I’m very focused on Pickett because he’s a very tough opponent. When the opportunity comes to fight for the title, I’ll grab it with tooth and nail, but my focus right now is on Pickett.


Barao: Absolutely, Aldo is a great mirror for me. He’s a great warrior and gives me a lot of advice. He arrived yesterday and has already been in the gym today, talking to me about my fight and giving me some tips. He’s a great champion.


Barao: In fact, when I fought in Brazil, I had no proper diet. I came into the fight, lost the weight and got myself ready. Not anymore. Now, I outline a more professional approach and follow a diet. I’ve hit that weight in three fights, and I’ve even come in below the weight limit. I’m well-adjusted, and finding that balance is not a problem for me. It’s boring, but it’s not a problem (laughs).

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 4 days ago
  • 0 views

The next chapter in Renan Barao's career will begin on December 20. Following a disappointing withdrawal from a rematch with TJ Dillashaw, Barao has been booked to meet Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Nigh read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 187 views

Mental warfare? It hasn't been the best couple of months for Camp Nova Uniao, home base for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo and former UFC bantamweight kingpi read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 457 views

Nova Uniao head coach Andre Pederneiras had a lot to say about his team's weight cutting practices and the UFC's decision to not to pay Renan Barao after he passed out trying to make weight for his t read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 12 views

Wanderlei Silva opens up on the reasoning behind his retirement, Renan Barao's treatment, and his thoughts on Chael Sonnen. If Wanderlei Silva has achieved anything over the past month or two it's th read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 3 views

Wanderlei Silva talks about retirement, UFC fighter pay, Renan Barao, Dana White and the UFC Hall of Fame. Submission Radio was honored to have an exclusive interview with Wanderlei Silva which is hi read news >>

  • 13 days ago
  • 3 views

Raphael Assuncao is riding the longest winning streak among active non-UFC champions inside the Octagon, but that might not be enough for him to earn his shot at the bantamweight championship. Days b read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 views

After a weight-cutting debacle in an August title fight rematch, Renan Barao was told he would need to fight again to work his way back into the UFC’s championship graces. Now he has that matchup.Fil read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 5 views

Renan Barao will have one last chance to close out 2014 on a high note, as the embattled former UFC bantamweight champion is slated to meet Mitch Gagnon on Dec. 20 at UFC Fight Night 58, promotion of read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 views

Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will return to the Octagon with a fight against Mitch Gagnon on Dec. 20, officials announced on Wednesday evening. read news >>