Renan Barao (pictured) was being blamed for single-handedly ruining an already lackluster UFC 177 card when he failed to make weight for his rematch against bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.
Barao has been blasted by media and fans alike for his unprofessional behavior, but that doesn’t seem to be enough punishment for many. UFC president Dana White believes Barao has been sufficiently crucified – particularly in the dollar department.
“There’s serious accountability right now for Barao,” White stated following Saturday’s UFC 177 post-fight press conference. “There’s no excuse for what he did. You don’t come here and not make weight, but he pays all the penalty. You couldn’t penalize a guy any more than this kid has been penalized. This guy’s been though hell. And hell isn’t over for him, because he’s going home without a paycheck.
“Yeah, it hurt us, the show and everything else, but that kid didn’t make a paycheck. He’s going home with no money. He’s going home without a dime. He hasn’t fought [since May], he just paid for a camp and who knows when he’s going to fight again. So believe me, the penalties in this sport are worse than any other sport. And Barao’s a guy who’s gotten to the point where he’s making big money now. The kid’s finally making big money and he just missed a payday after going through an entire camp.”
Surprisingly, White showed more compassion for Barao than most expected. Perhaps that’s because the show’s new main event between Dillashaw and Joe Soto turned out to be half-decent.
What White is focusing on now is what Barao and his team plan to do going forward, and there are only two options.
“As upset as we all are that he didn’t make weight, you don’t want to treat the kid like he’s not a human being. He’s a good kid, he’s not a bad guy. For some reason, whatever that reason is [for missing weight], he and his camp know that reason,” White stated. “Now, he and his team need to sit down and look at this and make a serious decision for Renan Barao.
“Is the right thing get rid of the nutritionist that you have and get a better one, or is the reality you can’t make that weight anymore, move to [145 pounds], figure out with your buddy [Jose] Aldo what he wants to – if you guys decide to fight each other, I’m fine with that – or if you don’t, then [Aldo] goes to [155 pounds].”
There has long been chatter Aldo would eventually relinquish his featherweight title and jump to lightweight, leaving the reins for his Brazilian buddy Barao to move up and dominate the 145-pound division, but those plans have yet to come to fruition.
At 27, Barao appears to be at a crossroads in his illustrious career. Your move, Renan.