UFC bantamweight underdog Mitch Gagnon has a huge/dangerous opportunity ahead of him at Fight Night 58….
Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will look to bounce back from a fair share of adversity at UFC Fight Night 58; “Baron” suffered a streak shattering TKO loss to TJ Dillashaw at UFC 173, and was pulled from the UFC 177 rematch after feinting during the weight cut. In front of him will be Mitch Gagnon, who has a golden opportunity in a fight with the former kingpin.
Currently ranked on the fringes of the division, the #15 Team Shredder product could elevate himself massively with a victory over Barao in Brazil, but the odds are thoroughly stacked against him. Talking with MMAFighting.com, Gagnon said he is confident in his abilities against the former champ, and wants to get a submission win:
“I’m not looking at it that much, but yeah, it definitely puts me on the map. It definitely takes me right up there. This is the biggest fight of my career, I’m fighting excellent champion, so it’s definitely huge. I definitely think I can (submit Barao),” he said. “I will put the pressure on him and if he makes any mistake, I’ll definitely getting a submission.”
Gagnon is definitely an active MMA grappler, with 11 submission finishes from 12, but Barao holds a black belt to Gagnon’s BJJ purple belt and actually has 14 submission wins of his own. A lot of people forget how strong “Baron” is on the mat, and that’s mainly due to his technical Muay Thai skills. With all the stress of 2014 so far, Gagnon is unsure of which Barao will turn up on December 20th:
“I don’t know which Renan Barao is gonna come out,” Gagnon said. “I’m not really thinking about what keeps him motivated. That doesn’t concern me. What concerns me is what I’m going to do, put my time in the gym and make me sharp ready for Dec. 20. He’s been champion for years, he’s very talented, so I’m really happy to be fighting him.”
What do you think, can Mitch Gagnon finish Renan Barao, or will the champion come in buoyed by his home crowd support?