Newly crowned UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao
sat down with Sherdog.com this week to discuss his win over
, the emotion he showed after his victory, and what he plans
to do now that he’s a UFC champ.
Sherdog.com: Did you hurt your foot? How is it?
Renan Barao: It’s OK. It was only a dislocation. Thank God, it’s
all in one piece.
Sherdog.com: What’s your take on the fight? Did it go as
Barao: Well, the strategy was to stay in the middle distance,
kicking, and Dede
Pederneiras asked me to shoot more. I stopped kicking because
of my foot, but thank God, I was able to keep using my boxing
strategy and everything worked out.
Sherdog.com: The takedown defense was also perfect.
Barao: We did a good job training takedown defense with my
colleagues here at Nova Uniao.
Sherdog.com: What was going through your head when you were
jumping around the Octagon, even before the decision was
Barao: Happiness. I remember when I finished the first round, Dede
said that I won. I finished the second round and he said I won. The
third and fourth rounds, too. He was saying that everything was
right. That last round, I knew I had to just keep fighting. Thank
God, I was able to do that, and I knew that I had won, so it was
that happiness. It wasn’t to disparage Faber, it was a thing of my
own, because we’ve been working on this for years. It was a dream
come true and that was happiness.
Sherdog.com: Did you manage to sleep that night after the
Barao: Wow, man, I almost didn’t sleep well. I was up the next day
to travel, but that’s it. It was a dream come true.
Sherdog.com: Did you sleep next to the belt?
Barao: I slept on the side. I didn’t drop it at all. I want him to
stay here a few more years.
Sherdog.com: Were you surprised to hear that Faber had a
Barao: Yeah, I didn’t know that he was hurt, I found out later.
Creepy, huh? In fact, we want to win the fight, but we don’t want
to hurt the opponent or anything. But, it happened,
Sherdog.com: When are you returning to your city?
Barao: I’m going back Monday to Natal to see my family and friends.
I’ve really missed them because I was here in Rio de Janeiro for
three months, training for this fight. I’m dying to see my son and
spend a few days relaxing.
Sherdog.com: Your next opponent: Dominick
Cruz or Michael
Barao: I’ll rest, but then I’ll come back to train, help my
comrades and wait for the next fight. They’re two tough guys. I’ll
be trained and go out to show my best.
Sherdog.com: Do you have a final message?
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Barao: First, I want to thank God and all the guys who accompanied
me, not only in Brazil, but also worldwide. I’d like to send a kiss
to Bairro das Quintas, to Natal, for everyone who supports me.
Thanks to everyone who sent me positive energy. I’ll always look
for the knockout or submission to thank you. Thank you very much.