Renan Barao: UFC champion. Okay, UFC Interim Champion...but champion nonetheless. He is currently tied for having the 3rd longest undefeated streak in MMA history at 29 wins and 1 No Contest(the UFC adds to wins on their site) and the longest of any active MMA fighter.
I'm not going to say I believed in this guy when nobody else did....but I kind of did. For a while, it did sort of feel like I was the only one always excited to see this guy on such a monstrous win streak compete, and for even longer it felt like I was the only one always rooting for him. I mean, I was saying 'this is someone to keep an eye on' nearly a year ago.
Meanwhile, as awesome as the Bloody Elbow staff is they've certainly counted him out some, along with plenty of other MMA fans in general(I know polls here on BE heavily favored Pickett)
For his UFC 130 fight with Cole Escovedo...the 8 staff predictors were 50/50 split between picking Barao and Escovedo to win.
At UFC 143 it seemed like everyone had warmed up to 'The Baron' a bit. Of the 10 predictors, 8 picked Barao to defeat Jorgensen.
As for me? I was clearly optimistic of his chances against Pickett, and anyone in the BECW can tell you I picked him to beat Faber...I also remember doing a fanpost of predictions for 143 where I had him beatin Jorgensen.
Basically...I'm a big fan of Renan Barao, I have been ever since I found out about him. I've always rooted for him, and I think it's a damn shame that even when he reaches a championship level in the UFC and every win secures his spot in the lasting record books more and more....that he seems to be getting so little praise for pulling a clean sweep against Faber just because the rest of the main card was a letdown.