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UFC 169: Renan Barao crushes Urijah Faber with first-round TKO

Jose Aldo cruises in title defense against Ricardo Lamas

Image

Associated Press

Renan Barao, right, of Brazil lands the punch that knocks Urijah Faber of Sacramento, CA down resulting in the official calling the fight during the first round of the Ultimate Fighting Bantamweight Championship Mixed Martial Arts bout in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Barao won after referee Herb Dean called the fight in the first round. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)

Updated Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 | 10:06 p.m.

UFC 169

Jose Aldo, right, of Brazil and Ricardo Lamas of Chicago, IL fight in the first round of the Ultimate Fighting Featherweight Championship Mix Martial Arts bout in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Aldo won by unanimous decision in five rounds. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen) Launch slideshow »

Note: Full preliminary results available at the bottom of the page.

NEWARK, N.J. — Beyond winning, Renan Barao had one other goal coming into UFC 169. The champion wanted to knock out Urijah Faber in their second bantamweight title fight.

Discounting his chances for the finish after beating Faber by unanimous decision two years ago was easy. Faber was on a four-fight winning streak, and hadn’t been stopped in six years.

Barao found a way — and fast. He dropped Faber three times before referee Herb Dean waved off the fight for a TKO victory at 3:42 of the first round for Barao.

“I hit him with a right hand and saw that I had him,” Barao said through a translator afterwards in the octagon. “I saw that I rocked him.”

Barao’s stoppage was uncharacteristic with the rest of the fight card. The UFC brought Decision Saturday to the area as a warm-up for Super Bowl Sunday.

UFC 169 set the record for most decisions in UFC history with 10 out of 12 fights, including all seven on the undercard, going the distance. That doesn’t mean they were all competitive.

On the contrary, several were one-sided despite their drawn-out length. That included the co-main event where Barao’s teammate, featherweight champion Jose Aldo, also retained his belt. Aldo put a savage beating on Ricardo Lamas, mostly with leg kicks, for 23 of the fight’s 25 minutes.

Lamas found top control of Aldo late, but the fight was over by then. Aldo defeated Lamas by unanimous decision — 49-46 on all three judges’ scorecards — to stay perfect in the UFC.

“He took a lot of kicks and he kept going,” Aldo said of Lamas through a translator. “I was surprised, but he’s a great fighter.”

The most unexpected fight to go the distance was a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir. Overeem had the local former champion bloodied and in trouble throughout the second half of the fight but couldn’t finish.

Overeem won via unanimous decision — 30-27 on every scorecard — to hand Mir his fourth straight loss.

The most memorable fight of the night came in the pay-per-view opener. Jamie Varner had Abel Trujillo a shot or two from a knockout when a stunning reversal took place.

A woozy Trujillo loaded up and scored a one-punch knockout of Varner with a right hand. Varner went out cold.

In flyweight action, Ali Bagautinov won two of three rounds on every scorecard for a unanimous decision over John Lineker. He may earn the next title shot in the 125-pound division.

Faber’s now challenged for the title for a UFC championship thrice, and fallen short every time. He protested the stoppage at UFC 169, but it was clear the direction his fight was headed.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Barao,” a gracious Faber said. “He caught me with a punch, but I wasn’t out.”

Check below for the Sun’s round-by-round coverage of the main card and scroll to the bottom for full results from the preliminaries. Come back later for more coverage from UFC 169.

 

Pre-main card

NEWARK, N.J. — Everyone obsessed over the threat of a storm.

A blizzard could have disrupted tomorrow night’s Super Bowl down the street at MetLife Stadium and, in turn, tonight’s UFC 169. The UFC announced plans to shift its fight card to Sunday if the NFL preemptively staged its game on Saturday.

Turns out the weather is clear, but lightning strikes are still forecasted for tonight at the Prudential Center.

There are always flashes that come with the local promotion’s smallest weight classes. All four of the tiniest divisions are featured on the main card of the annual Super Bowl pay-per-view.

Two of the most dominant champions in mixed martial arts, featherweight Jose Aldo and bantamweight Renan Barao, put their belts at risk in the headlining events. It’s the rare instance where the lighter weight class receives top billing, and a lot of that decision has to do with late-notice replacement Urijah Faber.

The former WEC featherweight champion remains one of the most popular fighters in the UFC, making his rematch against Barao the most anticipated bout on the card.

Faber is a significant underdog anyway, as high as 3-to-1, but the odds have him about twice as likely to walk away with a championship as Aldo’s opponent. Ricardo Lamas is among the least known fighters to ever challenge for a UFC title, and that’s coming across in a dismissal of his chances at beating Aldo.

Lamas is undefeated since moving to featherweight, never losing in the UFC, but Aldo’s run dwarfs that. The champion, and No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter, has won 15 straight over the course of eight years.

Aldo and Barao, training partners at Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro, expect to celebrate together at the end of the night.

A new top contender may emerge in the 125-pound class. The second main-card bout is between flyweights John Lineker and Ali Baugautinov, who have combined to win six straight fights.

Lightweights Jamie Varner and Abel Trujillo open the pay-per-view with the first of two pick’em fights in what projects as the thriller.

There is, as always, some thunder to go with the lightning. Veteran heavyweights Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem bridge the gap between the first two fights and the title bouts.

They’re both still big enough draws that people want to see them fight, but a loss could spell the end of either of their UFC careers.

Check below for full results from the undercard and follow along for round-by-round coverage of the pay-per-view.

In a fight as uneventful as the rest of the preliminary card, Alan Patrick eked out a win over John Makdessi in a lightweight bout. Patrick beat Makdessi by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) to ensure every bout on the main card went the distance.

Chris Cariaso won a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Danny Martinez in a flyweight bout. The fight was fast-paced but ultimately unfulfilling as Martinez apologized to the media for a "boring fight" immediately afterwards as he walked past press row.

"The Jersey Devil" won at the home of the New Jersey Devils. Nick Catone snagged a split-decision win (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) over Tom Watson in a middleweight bout. Catone's face was gashed by the time 15 minutes elapsed, but he had taken down Watson enough to earn the victory.

The home crowd came out strong for New York fighter Al Iaquinta. He delivered them a thrill. Iaquinta defeated Kevin Lee by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27) in a bout that barely had any dull moments. Iaquinta nearly knocked out Lee early, but the debuting Detroit fighter rolled back with a deep submission attempt in the second round.

Andy Enz proved his toughness multiple times in a middleweight bout against Clint Hester, coming back from the brink of several knockouts to stay in the fight. But he was hard-pressed to find much offense of his own. Hester defeated Enz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) in the final UFC Fight Pass prelim.

Rashid Magomedov won a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Tony Martin in a lightweight bout. Magomedov got out of a precarious armbar in the first round before nearly stopping Martin with an equally dangerous guillotine choke in the third round during the frenetic fight.

Neil Magny defeated Gasan Umalatov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in a welterweight bout. Magny made use of his reach to out-strike the newcomer Umalatov.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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