In the headlining bout of UFC 169, Renan Barao picked up his first title defense as the undisputed bantamweight champion with a first round TKO of Urijah Faber. In seven fights inside the Octagon, Barao has never suffered a loss. After 9 UFC fights, Faber has lost only in his three championship bouts.
Barao hurt Faber early in the fight with punches. Faber did his best to escape and recover, but Barao never let it. In the end referee Herb Dean stopped the fight when a turtled Faber stopped trying to improve his position.
What was the high point of the fight?
The entire finishing sequence. From the moment Barao first hurt Faber he never let off him before getting the finish.
Where do they go from here?
Barao already dispelled any rumors that he'd be moving to featherweight if champion Jose Aldo chooses to leave the division, so that's out. He's performed fantastically with three defenses of his interim title while Cruz was on the shelf and the sky's the limit now that he's got the official belt. The obvious match to make is against Dominick Cruz depending on when the former champ returns from injury. If not him, either Raphael Assuncao or T.J. Dillashaw make sense as next contender.
Faber is in the same surely frustrating position he's been in since losing his featherweight title to Aldo. He's clearly an elite talent at 135 lbs., but falls just short of championship level. He's already beaten most of the top 10 so I'd put him in against Mike Easton just for the sake of a fresh match.
Watch it now, later, or never?
You'll want to get right on this one. It was an exciting few minutes of action and you'll want to weigh in on the mild stoppage controversy.