Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan “The Baron” Barao was once considered by UFC president Dana White and commentator Joe Rogan to be the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. Heading into his 2014 title fight with TJ Dillashaw, the Brazilian hadn’t lost in his last 33 bouts.
He was then steamrolled by Dillashaw, and a downward spiral transpired. After beaing brutally beaten over the course of five rounds, Barao was granted an immediate rematch with Dillashaw at UFC 177, although he was forced to withdraw just a day prior due to weight cutting issues.
“The Baron” would bounce back with a submission victory over a rather unknown in Mitch Gagnon in December 2014, only to be once again starched by Dillashaw in July 2015. Barao recently headed up to 145 pounds in hopes of reinventing himself, but dropped a hard-fought decision to slugger Jeremy Stephens last month.
The 29-year-old could still have plenty left in the tank, but it’s been an undoubtedly rough road for Barao since he lost his 135-pound crown.