In the months leading up to UFC 173, following the announcement that the card would be headlined by a title bout between Renan Barao and T.J. Dillashaw, there have been few memes as prevalent as the idea that Barao is undersold to a viewing public that values a relatable westernized personality (and size) over technical ability, no matter how exciting or flashy. Most particularly when that technical ability is contained in a body weighing less than 170 lbs.
In response, Dana White has lashed out at one reporter (at least) and the UFC has started to cut some promos emphasizing just how good Renan Barao really is... well, really-ish. Somehow, some way, the UFC has a different record listed for Renan Barao than any other record keeping organization.
When I first heard Dana White publicly espousing that Barao was on a 35 fight win streak, I assumed that he was using a little of his classic hyperbole and rounding up a click or two, for a more advertising friendly number. But, the UFC website really does have Barao listed as 34-1 (1 NC). Otherwise Sherdog has him listed at 32-1 (1 NC), as does Fight Metric (the home to all of the UFC's stat tracking). Even MixedMartialArts.com, my go to for secondary record reference and the official record keeper for the ABC, only has Barao listed at 28-1.
Eventually, I'm not saying that the UFC is making Barao's record up. He's obviously fought a lot on the Brazilian regional circuit and I have no problem believing that a fight here and there just didn't get recorded. But, it would be nice if the UFC could give some frame of reference for this statistic if they're going to use it as the basis of their promotion of a champion as one of the most dominant fighters of all time. As Dana White is quick to do in the video below.
The following is Bloody Elbow's Dallas Winston, Kid Nate and Connor Ruebusch breaking down the UFC 173 main event between Renan Barao and T.J. Dillashaw: