UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao, Lombard vs. Boetsch LowKick.com Staff PredictionsPosted on July 20, 2012, 07:18 PM by Anton Gurevich
I've been pointing my finger at Renan Barao as Top 5 135'er for quite a time now. Tomorrow, Barao will get his shot at glory, facing Urijah Faber in for the Interim UFC Bantamweight title. However, I feel like this title shot is a little bit too soon for Barao, and it's not his fault, since there's a shortage for established competitors in the UFC Bantamweight division. Sounds harsh, but make no mistake - Barao can defeat Urijah Faber, simply because he's a beast of a fighter. But something tells me that Urijah Faber's experience and determination will get him the victory on Saturday night. This fight comes in a much better timing for Faber than it is for Barao. Faber via Decision.
Unfortunately for Hector Lombard, he has only a number of high-profile victories on his record. Yet, it would be silly (to say the least) to label the Cuban-Australian KO professor as an overrated fighter. From KO power in both hands to A-Class grappling skills, Lombard is nothing but a wrecking machine. Tim Boetsch knows he's in for a fight here, but so is Lombard, who knows that he's facing a physically stronger fighter. Despite his amazing streak, Lombard has a number of disappointing performances on his record, and that's exactly where I expect Boetsch to excel - yes, conditioning. If Boetsch survives the onslaught, and gets it into Round 3, he might get the finish. Lombard is a freak, and can definitely get an early KO here, but I'll put my not-so-legendary prediction skills on the line by picking Tim Boetsch via Decision.
Renan Barao is an animal no doubt, he's got a killer instinct, he's aggressive and he's a well-rounded fighter with some serious skills and abilities. He's defeated some solid opponents and holds an unbelievable 28 fight winning streak, including 13 submissions and 6 TKO's. But I can't help siding with Faber in his claims that Barao simply hasn't fought anyone at his level, because to be honest he's right. Barao could very well win this fight, but Faber has fought tougher competition for the entire duration of his career. With that said, steel sharpens steel, and something tells me Faber is going to be just a little too sharp for Barao to handle... Urijah Faber via Unanimous Decision
Hector Lombard is mean, lean and downright scary. He definitely gives off that early Mike Tyson aura and he's got the physique to match. Similar to Barao, Hector is currently on a ridiculously dominant 25 fight winning streak. Although I highly doubt any MMA fan - including myself - could name 25 middleweights outside of the UFC. Which means that his opponents couldn't have been all that great. Tim Boetsch however shouldn't be underestimated and may even have a chance here. In my opinion Lombard is simply carrying too much weight and muscle mass to throw around for 15 mins. His frame would be much better suited for the welterweight division and if Boetsch can weather the storm I see him winning by Decision. However I think that storm will be equivalent to an F5 Tornado. And if you've seen Twister, no one survives an F5... Hector Lombard via TKO Round 1
Experience is the name of the game. Renan Barao is a beast, and at 135 he brings a size advantage in to the cage against most. However, lets make one thing clear that has seemed to get out of hand a little bit, he is not Jose Aldo. He trains with the top 145 lber so he brings some similar traits in to the cage, but in terms of speed and otherworldly athleticism, Barao isn't comparable. If he lands a lot of leg kicks he could very well repeat the performance his teammate put on at WEC's lone PPV event. The problem for him is I don't see it happening. Faber is actually a bit faster, and I see his pace forcing Barao into a mistake at some point (likely into some type of choke). Faber Submission Rd. 3
It's hard to peg where Hector Lombard stands at this point. He has a tenacity to him that when coupled with his judo background, decent speed, and huge power makes him rough night for anybody at 185 lbs. At times he even looks like he'd give Anderson all he could handle. Then you take a peak at his record, and the only people that could be considered top ten competition were Akihiro Gono (yes he was top 10 at 185 way back when) and Gegard Mousasi (that ones a maybe). So there's a distinct possibility that once he hits the grind that is the UFC he could falter. Enter Tim Boestch: A much bigger fighter that has gone on a three fight winning streak since dropping down to 185 lbs. On paper, Tim provides a tough stylistic match up where he could possibly take advantage of his size and grind the smaller Lombard down in the later rounds. If he were to do that he'd have to take some damage though, and the fight with Yushin Okami makes me think he will be in serious trouble with Hector in the first round. Tim could very well pull off another upset, but don't bet on it. Lombard TKO Rd. 1
As a massive fan of both, I find this a difficult pick. With youth on his side, I feel Barao will be the victor on the day. Both evenly matched, I just feel Barao has the edge in the submission game, as well as the stand up to hold his own against Faber. My pick is Renan Barao via R3 submission.
With newcomer Lombard making his debut, all eyes are sure to be on him in the Co Main Event. With his heavy hands and lightning speed he is the favourite, but Boetsch should not be counted out. Despite this, I feel Lombard needs to make a statement, and unfortunately for Boetsch, he's going to end up on the receiving end. My prediction is Papa Shango via R2 TKO
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao for the Interim Bantamweight championship will show just how truly on top of his weight class Faber is, as he has gone a mere 0-4 in his last four attempts at a title. Faber is no doubt still relevant, and is always very tough to finish. Renan Barao, on the other hand, is a fighter that while not well-known to the average MMA fan, has amassed an incredible 29-fight unbeaten streak. Faber is one of the world's most popular fighters, Barao is a freight train. I see Barao taking home the Interim belt via R2 TKO.
Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boestch is an interesting matchup in that we finally get to see Hector Lombard's readiness for the UFC. Boestch is coming off a great win over Yushin Okami, but many forget he was losing that fight rather handily before his knockout. Both fighters are super aggressive headhunters, so I think this fight will be full of fireworks, and it could go either way quickly. However, I'll take Lombard via (T)KO in the first round.
Faber is seeking his first UFC title and has won three of his last four, but has lost his last 4 title fights (Cruz, Brown X2, Aldo). Barao is riding a 28-fight win streak with 9 KO’s and 13 submissions. I think Faber may have a slight edge in his standup, but Barao has a better ground game and has not lost a fight in over 7 years. I am going with Barao by submission in the second round, most likely a rear-naked choke.
Lombard is making his UFC debut after being the Bellator middleweight champion for the past few years and is on a 20-fight win streak. Boetsch is 3-0 since he made the move down from light heavyweight to middleweight and he has a lot of power in those hands. While the drop in weight seems to favor Boetsch, I think Lombard is going to take it home. Even though Lombard is a 4th Dan Judoka and BJJ blackbelt, 17 of his wins have been by KO/TKO, and that is how I see him winning this fight in the second round.
Cover photo - Francis Specker