UFC 149 Fight Card Primer: Urijah Faber Vs. Renan Barao

Urijah Faber and Renan Barao face off during the UFC 149 weigh-ins at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Friday, July, 20, 2012. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the main event at UFC 149, Urijah Faber (26-5; 2-1 UFC) takes on Renan Barao (28-1(1); 3-0 UFC) for the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship. Our USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Faber as the #2 Bantamweight in the world, and Barao just below him at #3. The UFC 149 PPV card airs live Saturday night July 21 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

Like almost all of UFC 149, this fight is not what was originally planned. Faber was set to face champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 148 to both complete their trilogy and wrap up the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. But with Cruz out with a knee injury, Barao stepped in to fight for the interim title. When Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch had to be pulled from this show, Faber vs. Barao was moved over and became the new main event. And in many ways, it's an even more intriguing match-up than Faber vs. Cruz 3, as Barao is a red hot prospect who could potentially light up the Bantamweight division.

How do these two stack up?

Faber: 33 years old | 5'6" | 69" reach
Barao: 25 years old | 5'6" | 70" reach

What have these two done recently?

Faber: W - Brian Bowles (Sub) | L - Dominick Cruz (UD) | W - Eddie Wineland (UD)
Barao: W - Scott Jorgensen (UD) | W - Brad Pickett (Sub) | W - Cole Escovedo (UD)

How did these two get here?

The California Kid Urijah Faber once ruled over the WEC. The long time WEC Featherweight champion was the company's undeniable top star, even after losing his belt to Mike Brown in 2008 and making the move down to Bantamweight. But since that title loss, Faber has been stuck in a rut. He's won every single non-title fight since that Brown loss, but lost every single title fight. This will be his 4th attempt to reclaim gold. If he fails for a 4th time, it's hard to justify him getting yet another shot.

Renan Barao has built up a lot of hype among MMA diehards. And that hype is deserved, as the Brazilian fighter has not lost a fight since losing in his MMA debut back in 2005. He fought exclusively in Brazil before coming to the WEC in 2010, and is 5-0 in Zuffa organizations, including a very impressive win over Brad Pickett last fall. Barao trains at Nova Uniao, which has to be seen as the top camp in Brazil today. He's a very exciting fighter, who has already drawn a lot of comparisons to his teammate Jose Aldo. Barao feels like a fighter who could be truly special, but this is a big test for him.

Why should you care?

First off, because this is going to be an awesome fight. Say what you will about Faber getting so many title shots, but he always delivers - it's hard to think of a boring Urijah Faber fight. Second, like I said, you get the sense that Barao could be a big deal. If so, that starts tonight, and you want to be there for it.

More UFC 149 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Urijah Faber and the Guillotine Choke - T.P. Grant

UFC 149 Weigh-In Results: Faber 135, Barao 135 - Tim Burke

UFC 149 Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke

UFC 149: Hector Lombard Vs. Tim Boetsch Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Renan Barao Uses A Muay Thai Knee Against Brad Pickett - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 149: Faber Vs. Barao Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 149: Cheick Kongo Vs. Shawn Jordan Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 149 Fight Science: Can Fighters Benefit From Training Their Sense Of Smell? - David Castillo

UFC 149: Brian Ebersole Vs. James Head Dissection - Dallas Winston

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 189: UFC 149, Bellator 72 Previews - Matt Bishop

UFC 149 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Urijah Faber's Weaknesses - Jack Slack

UFC 149: Matt Riddle Vs. Chris Clements Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC Posts Free Urijah Faber And Renan Barao Fights On Youtube - Mookie Alexander

Video: Countdown To UFC 149 - Faber Vs. Barao And Kongo Vs. Jordan - Tim Burke

Video: Countdown To UFC 149 Lombard Vs. Boetsch - ZProphet

UFC 149: Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 149: Introducing Hector Lombard - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Renan Barao Is NOT The Bantamweight Jose Aldo - Jack Slack

UFC 149 Conference Call: Renan Barao Wants to Wait For Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber Doesn't - Chris Hall

FREE $100 UFC 149 Kountermove Fantasy Cash Tourney - Steph Daniels

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