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UFC 165 fight card primer: Renan Barao vs Eddie Wineland

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 165 PPV. Here, we look at the co-main event: Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland for the Interim UFC Bantamweight title.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the co-main event at UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson, the UFC Interim Bantamweight champion Renan Barao (30-1(1) MMA; 5-0 UFC) puts his title on the line against Eddie Wineland (20-8-1 MMA; 2-2 UFC). The official UFC rankings have Wineland as the #4 contender, while Barao sits on the Pound for Pound list at #7. UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson airs live on PPV this Saturday, September 21 with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

With regular UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz now having sat on the shelf for two full years, it feel increasingly strange to call Barao the "Interim" champion. Here, Barao makes his 2nd defense of that interim belt. Interestingly, no Interim champion has ever made 2 defenses before being named the official champion. We'll see if that happens here, as the eventual return of Cruz is the big storyline at Bantamweight for now.

How do these two stack up?

Barao: 26 years old | 5'7" | 70" reach
Wineland: 29 years old | 5'7" | 69" reach

What have these two done recently?

Barao: W - Michael McDonald (Sub) | W - Urijah Faber (UD) | W - Scott Jorgensen (UD)
Wineland: W - Brad Pickett (SD) | W - Scott Jorgensen (KO) | L - Joseph Benavidez (UD)

How did these two get here?

Barao has been on arguably the best run of any major active fighter. He's now undefeated in his last 31 fights, and has not lost since dropping his pro debut back in 2005. This Nova Uniao fighter has looked better and better inside the Octagon, and is coming off a very strong performance against McDonald. As you would expect from anyone at Nova Uniao, Barao is a dangerous fighter in all aspects, with a great ground game and brutal strikes, plus a brilliant ability to transition. He's a force.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 165

Eddie Wineland first came to the UFC as apparent cannon fodder for Urijah Faber's debut. After going 0-2 inside the Octagon, he has really turned things around with huge wins over Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett. A veteran fighter, Wineland had a very good run in the WEC. He's been able to use his strength and solid punching ability to great success, but he's in a real tough fight here. A loss here probably locks him into a gatekeeper role for the immediate future.

Why should you care?

I love watching Barao in action, and Wineland should push the pace and make this an exciting clash.

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