Fighter of the Month September 2013 – Renan Barao

Fighter of the Month September 2013 – Renan Barao

By Christopher Jester

 

 
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Fighter of the Month September 2013 – Renan Barao

Event:  UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson (September 21, 2013)

Opponent:  Eddie Wineland

Result:  TKO (Spinning Back Kick to Punches) Round 2 (0:35)

 

 

If it was not for the close decision in the UFC light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, this Fighter of the Month award might have went a little different. Because it did, the more decisive title defense turned in by Renan Barao delivers September’s Fighter of the Month!

 

Forget not considering him a real champion just because he has the interim title before his championship belt. Barao is the real deal. Since coming into the UFC, he has beaten the best at 135lbs who don’t have the name Dominick Cruz. While the bantamweight champion Cruz has sat on the shelf for two years, Barao has showcased his dominance like he is the true champion. Cruz is not an afterthought, but Barao has shown enough flashes of his talent that any fight fan should know that the title holder will have a tough title defense if and when he returns.

 

Following interim title victories over Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald, Barao added another impressive name to that list notable wins when he defeated Eddie Wineland. While the first round was very competitive, the second round demonstrated just how crafty and dangerous the interim bantamweight champion can be. With a spinning back kick, Barao caught Wineland and then pounced on him quick enough that he could not defend himself. Etching another victory with the UFC interim bantamweight title in hand, Barao is not a make believe champion – he is a true champion, period!

 

With this victory, Barao earned his first Knockout of the Night award in the UFC, surprisingly. Additionally, he became the first person to defend an interim title consecutively in the UFC. Cruising on a winning streak that is nearly unheard of in MMA, Barao is a sight to behold and a worthy champion regardless if it is an interim or not. With that in mind, PunchDrunkGamer.com would like to reward our Fighter of the Month honors to Renan Barao! Congrats champ and good luck!

 

 

Runner-Ups:

 

1. Jon Jones (UFC 165 – September 21) – Very few expected Jon Jones to have the trouble he had with the Swede Alexander Gustafsson, but boy was it a fight. For some the outcome was indecisive and went to the wrong fighter but Jon Jones put on enough in the championship rounds to steal the fight. A champion knows how to come back to win fights and this is what he did on Saturday September 21st.

 

2. Jacare Souza (UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader – September 4) – On paper Souza had a tough fight ahead of him. Yushin Okami is known for his stifling ground control and masterful takedowns. Even with the UFC’s middleweight gatekeeper in front of him, Souza stopped the tough and durable Okami with punches in the very first round. Shutting out Okami must have gave the UFC the idea that Okami was not worthy of gatekeeper status as they cut him subsequently.

 

3. Glover Teixeira (UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader – September 4) – This could have been a dangerous fight for Teixeira as he was fighting a heavy-handed Ryan Bader who was looking to spoil the potential title shot looming with a victory for Teixeira. And Bader was quite close as he rocked Teixeira, but with an impressive recovery Glover Teixeira came back and turned off the lights on Bader via KO. With the win, Teixeira earned his opportunity to fight Jon Jones for the UFC light-heavyweight title.

 

4. Douglas Lima (Bellator 100 – September 20) – Beating a man once is one thing. Beating him in even more impressive fashion is something else. Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders squared off in the Bellator welterweight finals. Lima poured it on from the beginning, nearly finishing Saunders in the first. Then in the second he stopped Saunders with a high kick after Saunder’s eye had swollen completely shut. With Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren in limbo between the UFC and Bellator, Lima could easily become the next champion or could potentially fight Askren if/when he returns.

 

5. Brendan Schaub (UFC 165 – September 21) – Schaub has had a spotty career in the UFC’s heavyweight division as of late. After a lackluster victory over Lavar Johnson, Schaub needed a fight that would put him back in the spotlight in the UFC heavyweight division. This was just that fight. The fight was competitive until the end when Schaub snatched up a D’Arce Choke on the unexpected Matt Mitrione.

 

 

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