Renan Barao Plans To Be Bantamweight Champion For A Long Time
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.30.2014
His first defense is Saturday...
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Renan Barao (31-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) said that he plans to be the bantamweight champion for a long time. He'll have his first defense against Urijah Faber (30-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 159 at the Prudential Center in Newart, New Jersey. He was set to fight former champion Dominick Cruz to unify the interim belt with the bantamweight belt, but Cruz suffered a groin injury during training and had to cancel.
On the disappointment of not facing Cruz: "I wanted so much to be the linear champion, and I had that chance to be the true champion of the division. But I'm also sad because just like every fan of MMA, I would have liked to have had this fight against Dominick Cruz."
On his goals: "My goal never was to beat Dominick Cruz. My goal was to become the true champion of the division, and I'm very proud to be that champion. I want to keep the belt for a long time, and if anybody has any doubt, we can have that fight with Cruz in the future – that's no problem for me. But my goal is to remain champion."
On fighting Faber: "I watched Faber's latest fights, and I do think he changed a lot. He improved his game. I do think he's much better now, so I had to change a little bit of my own training because of that. But I've done that, and I'm well-prepared. The first time, I was very anxious because we know that he always comes to fight. He's good standing and on the ground. I definitely didn't think another fight with him would happen so fast, but I'm excited."