Following a turbulent year in the UFC, Renan Barao is delighted to put 2014 behind him with a win on Saturday night. Having watched the division pass him by over the past few months, the Brazilian vowed to regain the title in the coming months.
"I'm focused on my goals, and I'm going to bring this belt back to Brazil," Barao said after Saturday's post-fight press conference (via MMAJunkie.com). "You can be sure of that."
Barao's win over Ontario-native Mitch Gagnon is unlikely to thrust him back into immediate title contention, but it does help keep him relevant in a rapidly changing division. While he has his eyes set on a rematch against T.J. Dillashaw, Barao will have to wait until former champion Dominick Cruz gets his crack at the title he never lost in a fight. Apart from that, there is a strong case to be made for Raphael Assuncao, who also earned his place in line for a title shot with his seven-fight win streak in the division. He even holds a win over the current champion.
With that in mind, Barao will likely take some time off to rest his body and spend time with his family.
"I'm going to rest a little bit right now, spend the rest of the year with my family," Barao said. "I'm going to talk to my coaches and see what happens from now on, if we're going to have an opportunity to fight or if we're going to wait a little bit longer.
"I'm here. I love to fight. I like competing in the octagon, so I'm open to fight. Whatever my coaches decide, that's what's going to happen."
Transcription taken from MMAJunkie.com.