UFC 149: Faber vs. Barão – Preview & Event Coverage
By Dave Carpinello
This Saturday night the UFC invades Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the first ever as UFC 149 will emanate from the ScotiaBank Saddledome. Due to injuries this card has been changed more times than Pamela Anderson’s bra size and now features “The California Kid” looking at maybe he last shot at UFC gold as he takes on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black who hasn’t lost in over seven years, Renan “Barao” Pegado.
In the co-main event, former Bellator Champion Hector Lombard makes his UFC debut as he takes on “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch. In heavyweight action Cheick Kongo faces former Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Shawn Jordan. Also on the main card are two bouts featuring welterweight contests with grizzled veteran Brian Ebersole fighting James Head and Chris Clements taking on The Ultimate Fighter alum Matt Riddle.
The preliminary portion of the card on FX features four fights including a middleweight contest between Court McGee and Nick Ring and a bantamweight showdown with Roland Delorme facing Francisco Rivera. The first two fights on FX feature former Maximum Fighting Championships’ light heavyweight champion Ryan Jimmo fighting Australia’s own Anthony Perosh and Miesha Tate’s boyfriend Bryan Caraway as he looks to submit UFC newcomer Mitch Gagnon.
The remainder of the preliminary card will air live on the UFC’s official Facebook page and pits Antonio Carvalho versus Daniel Pineda and Mitch Clarke versus Anton Kuivanen.
Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan “Barao” Pegado (28-1-1)
Interim Bantamweight Championship
Urijah Faber was formerly considered the top featherweight in the world. He first fought in the WEC with an 11-1 record, including wins over Hiroyuki Abe, Charles Bennett, and Ivan Menjivar. After his WEC debut he won four more bouts outside of the promotion before permanently joining the WEC (until the UFC merger).
Already a King of the Cage champion, Faber won the WEC featherweight title in his promotional debut against Cole Escovedo. After defending his KOTC and Gladiator Challenge titles, Faber vacated to fulfill commitments with the WEC. Faber strung together four impressive submissions in title defenses over Joe Pearson, Dominick Cruz, Chance Farrar, and Jeff Curran before winning a decision over former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver. Faber was then upset by Mike Brown in a first round TKO stoppage.
Following the loss Faber rebounded with a first round submission over Pulver, but lost his rematch with Brown by decision. After submitting top ten ranked Raphael Assuncao, Faber lost a one-sided decision against champion Jose Aldo. After that Faber put together a two-fight win streak, submitting Takeya Mizugaki in the WEC and then winning a decision over Eddie Wineland in his UFC debut. After that fight though, Faber lost to the UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision. He returned at UFC 139 with an exciting submission victory over Brian Bowles to earn another title shot.
UFC Record: 2-1
Strengths: NCAA Div I wrestling background, Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, underrated striking
Weaknesses: Can be overly aggressive, susceptible to leg kicks
Key Wins: Dominick Cruz, Takeya Mizugaki, Jeff Curran, Eddie Wineland, Raphael Assuncao, Cole Escovedo, Hiroyuki Abe, Bibiano Fernandes, Charles Bennett, Charlie Valencia, Naoya Uematsu, Joe Pearson, Jens Pulver (2), Chance Farrar
Notable Losses: Jose Aldo, Mike Brown (2), Tyson Griffin, Dominick Cruz
“Barao” has made a name for himself quickly with an impressive record and an eighteen-fight win streak – twenty-eight if you don’t include a no contest against Claudemir Souza back in 2007 for an illegal soccer kick. “Barao” enters Saturday’s bout having most recently won two WEC appearances by submission and his first three UFC appearances.
In his WEC debut it took “Barao” two and a half rounds to submit Anthony Leone by armbar. He followed up with a first round rear naked choke over Chris Cariaso before the WEC merged with the UFC. In his UFC debut “Barao” out-pointed Cole Escovedo to earn a unanimous decision and then he submitted top-ten ranked Brad Pickett with a first round rear naked choke. Most recently “Barao” defeated Scott Jorgensen in a one-sided decision at UFC 143.
The Nova Uniao stand-out and teammate of current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has earned thirteen of his wins by submission and six by TKO. “Barao” was awarded his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in September 2011 by Andre Pederneiras.
UFC Record: 3-0
Strengths: Excellent striking and even better submissions
Weaknesses: Somewhat untested versus top competition
Key Wins: Scott Jorgensen, Brad Pickett, Rogerio Silva de Souza, Cole Escovedo, Sergio Silva Rodrigues, Anthony Leone, Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra
Notable Loss: Joao Paulo
Hector Lombard (31-2-1-1) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)
PunchDrunkGamer Match-Up of the Night
Hector Lombard makes his UFC debut riding a 25 fight unbeaten streak. Most people believe he is here for one reason and one reason only, to face the UFC champion Anderson Silva but the former Bellator Fighting Championships and Cage Fighting Championship title holder will first have to first defeat “The Barbarian”. Lombard’s unbelievable streak stretches over five years and throughout nine different promotions. Since losing to Gegard Mousasi at PRIDE Bushido 13 back in 2006, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has been nearly unstoppable.
The only blemish on Lombard’s record since the Mousasi loss was a Draw with Kyle Noke back at Cage Fighting Championship’s inaugural show in 2007. Prior to that fight he had won four fights in a row including a verbal submission over current UFC fighter James Te Huna. Since the Draw, Lombard has been on a tear, winning 20 fights in a row while defending his CFC title seven times and winning eight straight fights in Bellator including claiming the promotion’s middleweight title.
The former Olympic judoka trains at American Top Team and he received his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Marcus “Conan” Silveira in 2010.
UFC Record: Debut
Strengths: Striking, Judo & Jiu-Jitsu
Weaknesses: Hard to find
Key Wins: Trevor Prangley, James Te-Huna, Brian Ebersole, Alexander Shlemenko, Joe Doerksen, Falaniko Vitale
Notable Losses: Akihiro Gono, Gegard Mousasi
Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch enters this bout with a three-fight win streak in hand since he has dropped to the UFC middleweight division. Most recently he knocked out Yushin Okami at UFC 144 and prior to that he won a decision against Nick Ring at UFC 135 and edged out The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove in a decision in his first fight at middleweight.
Before joining the UFC for the first time, Boetsch won his first six career fights in smaller regional organizations before losing his first fight to Vladimir Matyushenko in the International Fight League. Despite the loss, the UFC gave him an opportunity at UFC 81 and he nearly slammed David heath through the canvas to win his Octagon debut by TKO. He lost two of his next three UFC bouts and was not re-signed by the organization. After three wins in a row outside of the UFC, Boetsch returned and has won four of five fights inside of the Octagon.
Boetsch, who has won seven of his last eight bouts, trains out of AMC Pankration under Matt Hume and was a four-time Camden-Rockport High School State Wrestling Champion.
UFC Record: 6-3
Strengths: Heavy handed striker, improved conditioning
Weaknesses: Slow starter, questionable off his back
Key Wins: Yushin Okami, Nick Ring, Kendall Grove, David Heath
Notable Losses: Vladimir Matyushenko, Matt Hamill, Phil Davis
Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-3)
Cheick Kongo comes into this fight after getting knocked out by Mark Hunt in Japan at UFC 144 back in February. Prior to that defeat, Kongo had won two fights in a row including a dramatic comeback knockout over Pat Barry and a unanimous decision victory over former Ultimate Fighter Matt Mitrione.
This will be the Frenchman’s 17th fight in the Octagon but to call his UFC career consistent would be a stretch. Since his arrival, Kongo has had one three-fight winning streak, two losses in a row once and a draw (Travis Browne, UFC 120). Kongo was widely accused of being a dirty fighter a few years back but has since been a model citizen inside the Octagon.
The former kickboxer turned mixed martial arts contender began his fighting career back in 2001 and won nine of his first twelve MMA fights and he also owns an impressive 21-2 kickboxing record. This may be Kongo’s last chance to make a move in the UFC heavyweight division if he can score an impressive victory.
UFC Record: 10-5-1
Strengths: Striking, ability to recover
Weaknesses: Fighting off his back, questionable submission defense
Key Wins: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Assuerio Silva, Antoni Hardonk, and Paul Buentello
Notable Losses: Mark Hunt, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Heath Herring
Shawn Jordan was a fullback and special teams player at Louisiana State University (LSU) before beginning his mixed martial arts career and was a part of two National Champion teams. He began his MMA career winning nine of his first ten fights mostly in smaller promotions amongst the regional scene.
After losing the second fight of his career under the Bellator FC banner to Mark Holata, Jordan rebounded with consecutive victories before losing a unanimous decision to Devin Cole in the now non-existent Strikeforce Challengers Series. Jordan certainly learned from that defeat though as he has won both fights since, against much higher competition. He defeated Lavar Johnson via keylock submission in his final Strikeforce fight and then he won his Octagon debut against Oli Thompson with a brutal TKO.
Jordan, who is only 27 years old, trains under Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
UFC Record: 1-0
Strengths: Heavy handed, solid wrestler
Weaknesses: Suspect chin, hasn’t been tested against elite competition
Key Wins: Oli Thompson, Lavar Johnson
Notable Losses: Kenny Garner, Devin Cole
In welterweight action, Brian Ebersole (50-14-1) takes on James Head (8-2). Ebersole (4-0 UFC) returns to the Octagon after a very brief hiatus following his victory over T.J. Waldburger at UFC on FX 4 last month. He definitely goes into this fight with experience on his side and the Tiger Muay Thai fighter also holds notable career victories over Claude Patrick, Dennis Hallman, Chris Lytle and Nick Thompson. Head (1-1 UFC) is looking to build on his first UFC victory after defeating Papy Abedi at the UFC on Fuel TV event back in April after losing his promotional debut to Nick Ring at UFC 131. With only ten professional bouts under his belt, the Lovato Brazilian jiu-jitsu student will need a victory Saturday night to gain more confidence and to assure his place in the UFC.
Opening up the pay-per-view-portion of the card is another welterweight tilt featuring Chris Clements (11-4) and Matt Riddle (6-3). Clements (1-0 UFC) enters Saturday night’s contest on a five-fight win steak including defeating Keith Wisniewski in his Octagon debut back at UFC 145. He also owns the fastest knockout in MMA history at three seconds with a win over Lautaro Tucas at TKO 25. Riddle (6-3 UFC) has fought his entire career inside of the Octagon since debuting as a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter Season 7. He won five of his first six professional bouts including a TKO victory over DaMarques Johnson before he lost two consecutive fights via decision. Most recently Riddle defeated Henry Martinez at UFC 143.
UFC 149: Pre-Presser Main Event Highlights
UFC 149: Faber vs. Barão – Fight Card:
Main Card (Pay-Per-View):
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barão (Interim UFC Bantamweight Title Bout)
Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch (PDG Match-Up of the Night)
Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan
Brian Ebersole vs. James Head
Chris Clements vs. Matt Riddle
Preliminary Card (FX):
Court McGee vs. Nick Ring
Roland Delorme vs. Francisco Rivera
Ryan Jimmo vs. Anthony Perosh
Bryan Caraway vs. Mitch Gagnon
Preliminary Card (UFC Facebook):
Antonio Carvalho vs. Daniel Pineda
Mitch Clarke vs. Anton Kuivanen
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