Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao decided to give the public a peek behind the scenes when he spoke with Portal do Vale Tudo recently.
Barao stated in that interview that he was not originally scheduled to fight at UFC 173 in May 2014, but instead was on vacation after his fight with Urijah Faber at UFC 169, where he successfully defended his title. According to Barao, the UFC called him and asked him to fight at the event. This made Barao uncomfortable due to the timetable between his fights, but didn’t want to turn his employers down:
“I was on vacation, I had just fought Faber in February. I was in my hometown when I got the call from Jair Lourenco, telling me the UFC wanted me to fight at UFC 173, because Chris Weidman had gotten hurt and they had to have a title fight. I said I couldn’t fight, but since we always trusted our work, we tried to give our best. Unfortunately, the result was what happened.”
At UFC 173, he would go on to lose to TJ Dillashaw in one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history.
Barao has fought one time after that, defeating Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58, and is scheduled to rematch Dillashaw for the bantamweight title at UFC on FOX 16.
In the lead-up to that fight, Dillashaw has done a very good a promoting the fight, which has not sat well with Barao. During the interview, Barao expressed his dislike with what Dillashaw has had to say.
“He has been talking a lot of gibberish. I will show just how wrong he is on the things he’s saying. I don’t think he’s a champion, I think he’s a joker.”
The good news for Barao is that the talking comes to an end on July 25th when the two are locked inside the Octagon at the United Center in Chicago. Will the Brazilian be able to regain his belt from the ultra-confident ‘Viper,’ or is Dillashaw too dangerous for the former pound-for-pound great?