It’s no secret that UFC bantamweight Renan Barao has a hard time making the division’s 135-pound weight limit.
The former champion infamously passed out in the bathtub during his weight cut prior to his scheduled UFC 177 title fight against archrival T.J. Dillashaw, who took his belt in a shocking upset at May’s UFC 173.
He was forced out of the bout and relegated to working his way back to another shot at gold, signing on to face lesser-known Mitch Gagnon in the co-main event of December 20’s UFC Fight Night 58 from Barueri, Brazil.
This time around, Barao is apparently taking his diet seriously. “The Baron” told AG Fight that he has given up his favorite foods in an effort to take his career more seriously:
“After this defeat, I improved my diet and I saw that I have to train more. I stopped eating crap, now I’m only eating food athlete. I ate a lot of pizza, pasta, now took a while (laughs), I am more regimented, with a nutritionist.
It’s never easy to make weight, but I’m very well thank God, with a much more balanced meals well before the fight. Everything will be fine, it will be much easier.”
That’s probably a good course of action for Barao, who notoriously put his body through drastic and draining weight cuts that finally caught up to him in August. He also touched on training more, insinuating that his practice regime was lagging leading up to UFC 173.
He’s since admitted that he slept on Dillashaw, allowing “The Viper” to nail him with a massive right hand in the first round before dominating him en route to an emphatic fifth round finish.
Former division champion Dominick Cruz also returned to the fold with an amazing stoppage of Takeya Mizugaki at September 27’s UFC 178, clearing a path for “The Dominator” to take on Dillashaw early next year.
If Barao gets by Gagnon in dominant fashion, it’s safe to assume that he’ll get a shot at the winner. However, he’s kind of proven to be his own worst enemy in recent months.
He said that his diet and training are back on track, and if he is able to stay completely focused on fighting, there’s no doubt that Barao has the talent and skills to regain the championship belt. But it won’t be easy.
With his diet and training back on track, will Barao return to championship form in 2015?
Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports