Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE
Renan Barao successfully defended his UFC interim bantamweight title by submitting Michael McDonald in the fourth round of their main event fight at UFC on Fuel 7.
Michael McDonald was a game title challenger, but the interim champ got it done in round four. Renan Barao used a slick, well-rounded game to take at least two of the first three rounds before taking advantage of a small window of opportunity in the fourth. In a ground scramble, Barao locked up an arm-triangle choke and got the tap from Mayday. The finish came at 3:57 of round 4.
After missing with a spinning back kick, Barao got a takedown right into side control early in the opening round. McDonald was able to get back to guard, and eventually back to his feet. The fighters exchanged a few nice counters as the other guy flurried. A big flurry from MacDonald hurt Barao briefly, but he quickly tied McDonald up and landed a few shots of his own against the cage. Barao got another trip takedown and spent the rest of the round attempting some GnP.
The second round started more cautiously on the feet. Barao shot in for a takedown and got it, but Mayday got up immediately. Barao hit McDonald with an open hand strike and a finger went into McDonald's eye. Upon the restart, McDonald tried to be aggressive but Barao turned it up a bit with a nice combo and a front kick. McDonald started ratcheting up the counters in response.
Barao was quickly swarming in the third, landing some solid shots. He then got a body lock and dragged McDonald to the mat, but once again Mayday got up immediately. The pace slowed for a while, but Barao landed a nice spinning kick that made both fighters up the tempo a bit late in the round.
Barao tried a few different unique attacks early in round four, and managed to bloody McDonald's nose. McDonald shucked off two takedown attempts from his opponent. Barao looked for a throw that McDonald briefly defended, but Barao got it down and sunk in an arm-triangle choke. Barao squeezed and squeezed and despite saying he was okay, McDonald tapped out a few seconds later.