Barao definitely doesn’t want to stand in the pocket with Wineland and bang it out. Given Wineland’s power and a similar reach it’s important for Barao to know where he can land shots and avoid damage from. In that regard, he needs to find his range early with some probing kicks and jabs. Doing so could ultimately make the difference between an easy win and brutal battle. Fighters out of Nova Uniao are known for their vicious leg kicks and rightfully so. Barao is no different in that regard, and planting a few well-placed shots to Wineland’s lower half could be an excellent way to start setting up takedowns. Additionally, such an attack would slow Wineland down and expose him to more offense while standing. And, as those familiar with Barao’s ability know, the type of shots he delivers could even produce a TKO based on Wineland’s inability to fight on a single leg. Wineland’s bread and butter involves his stand-up. In truth, he’s only slightly above average on the mat, and three of the four times he’s been finished in his career were the result of submissions. Meanwhile, Barao’s ground game is solid and has netted him 14 tap-out victories. He needs to take Wineland down whenever possible and let his BJJ work its magic. Everyone has been labeling Barao as a superstar in the making for the past few years and it’s easy to see why given his success. While there’s no denying Barao is a beast, the last person who needs to start believing he’s unbeatable is the young Brazilian himself. Overconfidence can be a killer regardless of how good a fighter one might be or how big an advantage one is perceived to have. Barao has climbed to the heights he’s currently at by approaching efforts in a certain manner. To continue winning he needs to stay the course as opposed to switching something up in his game. As they say, you dance with the one who brought ya, and the same rings true even if the number is a ballet of brutality.
There aren’t many more impressive winning streaks in MMA than the one owned by
UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. The 26-year old has racked up 30 straight triumphs including success in the Octagon over Scott Jorgensen, Brad Pickett, Urijah Faber, and Michael McDonald. Barao will look to add #31 tonight when he takes on Eddie Wineland at . It’s absolutely an effort Barao should exit victorious as long as he takes a few simple steps towards achieving that goal. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC 165