Most recently Barao submitted Michael McDonald with an arm-triangle choke Saturday at UFC on Fuel TV 7.
“He’s proven to be the best guy in the division underneath me,” Cruz told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He’s proven that. It’s been impressive how he’s been winning.”
Cruz expected Barao to get past McDonald. With that said, though, he did give McDonald a chance in the early rounds due to his punching power.
“I was giving him the best chance to maybe put Barao down with one of those punches, but I kind of had a feeling McDonald was going to get stuck on the headhunt with Barao,” Cruz said. “[Barao’s] got a very tight defense. You’ve got to open him up. You can’t just look for that one-punch knockout because Barao’s got very good boxing fundamentals and he understands boxing really well. You can’t just throw a one-punch knockout and land it. You’ve got to set up your big punches. You’ve got to throw punches in bunches. You’ve got to go to the body to lower the guard from the head.”
McDonald did hurt Barao early, but the Brazilian took over the fight before finishing it 3:57 into the fourth round.
“There’s a lot that’s got to go on to break down a guy like Barao, to be able to trick him and get through his defense, and I think also on top of that, Barao was twice the size of McDonald in there really,” Cruz said. “He’s a big [bantamweight]. He’s cutting a lot of weight, I think, and that definitely had a big part to play. Once he got that bodylock, McDonald wasn’t going anywhere. He took him right down with that quickly and just controlled him.”
Despite the loss, Cruz was complimentary of McDonald. He believes the 22-year-old will only improve from going into the championship rounds with Barao, though Barao of course is the man Cruz looks forward to fighting when he’s healthy.
“I look forward to testing myself against him,” Cruz said. “He’s a very worthy opponent and it’s going to be a fun fight. It’s one of those fights where it’s a new puzzle to figure out. Nobody’s been able to do it for over 19 fights now with Barao, and I would love that opportunity.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:50:35).view original article >>
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is tired of waiting around for Jon Jones. He's laid down an ultimatum, it's now or never. read news >>
The Bellator women’s flyweight division just got bigger with the signings of five fighters in addition to former UFC title contender Valerie Letourneau.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza reportedly could be spending the next six months or so on the sidelines following surgery. read news >>
After a two-fight run as a featherweight, former bantamweight champion Renan Barao appears to be ready to move back to 135 pounds. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Anthony Joshua was crowned the king of the heavyweight division as he stopped long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko. Check out the big finish. read news >>
Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz wants to fight the winner of Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw, and believes that he's earned the right to do so. read news >>
Check out the top Twitter reactions to news of the UFC’s newest division, women’s flyweights, being added later this year.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
A new division will be created and a new champion will emerge from the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. read news >>
After a stint in the featherweight division, former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis will return to the 155-pound weight class to take on Jim Miller at UFC 213. read news >>
Hours after the announcement, UFC President Dana White said nothing is official regarding a new women’s 125-pound weight class.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>