Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao has been released by the UFC following five straight losses. The latest was a decision defeat to Douglas Silva de Andrade in Sao Paulo last month.
Before that he lost via decision to Aljamain Sterling, Brian Kelleher and Andre Ewell. However, his most devastating loss came against Luke Sander who knocked the Brazilian out cold.
It has been a huge fall from grace for Barao who was once described by UFC president Dana White as the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA. The former-champion has not been the same since losing his title against TJ Dillashaw in 2014, snapping Barao’s 33-fight win streak. A rematch took place but Dillashaw was even more emphatic in victory a second time round.
During the height of his powers Barao beat Urijah Faber (twice), Eddie Wineland, Michael McDonald, Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen. At one-point White’s calling him the best fighter in the sport was not a ridiculous statement.
Only hindsight has allowed fans to ridicule that claim from the UFC boss. Since losing his title Barao has switched between 135 and 145lbs, but nothing has quite worked out. He has only won two of his last 10 fights, picking up a submission win over Mitch Gagnon and scoring a unanimous decision over Phillipe Nover.
The 32-year-old leaves the promotion with a record of nine wins and eight defeats, despite starting his run with seven consecutive wins inside the UFC octagon.
He follows former two-time title challenger Liz Carmouche out of the UFC, who have shown they aren’t afraid to make high profile cuts to their roster.
Should Renan Barao continue to fight or hang them up?