Without question, Mark Munoz and his violent ground-and-pound assault on Chris Leben is hoarding the UFC 138 headlines. However, Renan Barao’s spectacular performance against Brad Pickett in the card’s co-main event deserves some shine, too.
The little-known Brazilian easily disposed of “One Punch” to collect his 27th consecutive victory. You read that correctly, the 24-year-old hasn’t lost a fight since making his professional debut in April of 2005.
“My team put me in a lot of training – boxing, Muay Thai and everything – and I felt very confident I was going to put on a good show,” Barao expressed through a translator at the post-fight press conference.
“I feel very complete, but I have a lot [of room] to grow. I will do my best in my next performance.”
Speaking of an opponent for his next Octagon outing, bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz is riding a 10-fight winning streak and has posted four straight decision wins since capturing the WEC-turned-UFC crown. Although Barao wasn’t formally calling for a shot at the throne, he wasn’t exactly running from the opportunity, either.
“The objective is this, when you come up here to the UFC it’s to fight for the title,” he flatly stated. “I’m ready at any time.”
Unfortunately for Barao, Cruz won’t be good-to-go anytime soon. The division’s reigning king had his right hand operated on last month. No timetable has been set for his return.
(Picture provided by Steven Houchin of Shotgun Images)