Renan Barao at UFC 138UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has a fight on his hands when he returns from injury.

Interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão already had a fight on his hands when he squared up with 22-year-old Michael McDonald, who gave Barão everything he could have asked for in their UFC on Fuel TV headlining bout on Saturday in London.

McDonald came out with a quiet confidence that belies his years, but has become a key component of his approach.

He really seemed to take Barão out of his rhythm early in the fight, shucking off many of the champion’s takedown attempts, and often beating him to the punch and slipping the counters.

As McDonald settled into a rhythm, however, Barão did what all good champions do and adjusted his attack.

Particularly in the third round, Barão stepped up the pace of his attacks, pressuring McDonald instead of countering the youngster. And even though Barão missed with several spinning kicks, he finally landed to McDonald’s chin towards the end of round three.

The fourth round saw McDonald fighting at a much slower pace, Barão still upping his aggression eventually putting McDonald in a bodylock and not letting go until he planted him on the mat.

As they hit the mat, Barão landed off to the side with a head-and-arm choke applied. McDonald gave a quick thumbs up to indicate he was okay, but Barão had his hip blocked so he couldn’t move into the choke and take the pressure off. The champion remained patient, continuing to cinch up the choke until McDonald finally had no alternative and tapped out.

“I feel great,” said Barão after the fight. “That was the result of a lot of hard work.”

Upon winning the interim belt against Urijah Faber last summer, Barão had intended to wait for Cruz to make his return. Setbacks increased the wait time, however, so Barão made the defense against McDonald, but now, his sights have returned to the UFC bantamweight champion.

“Dominick Cruz, I’m waiting for you,” Barão declared. “Please come quick!”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Stephens prepared to welcome Barao to the division

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 views

Jeremy Stephens is prepared and excited to welcome Renan Barao to the featherweight division on Sunday at Fight Night Las Vegas. read news >>

Renan Barao Video: ‘You’re Going to See a New Renan Barao’ at Featherweight

  • 28 days ago
  • 13 views

Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao talks about his UFC Fight Night 88 bout against Jeremy Stephens, and says we're going to see a new Renan Barao. read news >>

Jeremy Stephens Video: Facts are Renan Barao’s Camp is Losing Since USADA Drug Testing

  • 27 days ago
  • 37 views

Heading into his showdown with Renan Barao, Jeremy Stephens didn't accuse the Brazilian fighter of outright doping in the past, but the insinuation was there. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 88 Video: Weigh-In Altercation Between Renan Barao and Jeremy Stephens

  • 27 days ago
  • 56 views

Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao makes his UFC featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens on Sunday, and the two got into a shoving match during the official weigh-in. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 88 Video: Jeremy Stephens – Knockout Artist

  • 26 days ago
  • 30 views

Jeremy Stephens has proved himself to be a true knockout artist. He's earned himself five devastating knockouts and looks to add a sixth against Renan Barao. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 88: Jeremy Stephens Spoils Renan Barao's Featherweight Debut

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

Jeremy Stephens (25-15) and Renan Barao (33-4, 1 NC) threw down at UFC Fight Night 88 on Sunday. "Wow" is the best word to describe that fight. That is what fisticuffs are all about. The three rounds read news >>

UFC Fight Night 88 Video Highlights: Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens

  • 26 days ago
  • 18 views

Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao made his UFC debut in the featherweight division at UFC Fight Night 88 against Jeremy Stephens. Check out the video highlights. read news >>

VIDEO: Michael Bisping Calls Out Luke Rockhold, Says He Turned Down Jacare

  • 20 days ago
  • 33 views

Michael Bisping, who eventually got the call, said his "source very close to the UFC" told him that Luke Rockhold turned down a fight with Jacare Souza. read news >>

Following Surgery, Chris Weidman Calls Michael Bisping’s Bluff, Wants First Shot at the Belt

  • 15 days ago
  • 485 views

Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman underwent successful neck surgery earlier this week, and now he's already calling out Michael Bisping. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 89 Results: Stephen Thompson Picks Rory MacDonald Apart, Calls for Title Shot

  • 6 days ago
  • 56 views

Second-ranked welterweight Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson became the top contender in the 170-pound division on Saturday when he defeated top-ranked Rory MacDonald. read news >>