UFC 169 Preview

ufc_169It has been a long time since the Bantamweight Division has had a true title fight as one of the strangest stories in the UFC has played out in the division. Dominick Cruz was on his way to becoming one of the most dominant champions in the UFC. In 2011 Cruz would face Urijah Faber in the first ever Bantamweight championship fight for the UFC. It would be the start of the WEC merger into the UFC and two great WEC fighters would get the chance to earn a UFC title. Cruz would come out on top and looked great in the process to move into the championship seat. Another title defence would see Cruz projected to become a great champion but then it would all fall apart. In 2011 before his rematch with Faber Cruz would tear his ACL and the impending surgery would keep him out for even longer. The surgery was unsuccessful and it would keep the champion out of the octagon for two years. Crus was set to make his return to the octagon this year when he was scheduled to fight interim champion Renan Barao. It was built as the return of one of the best fighters in the UFC to show that he still has it and that he is the true champion of the Bantamweight division. Then Cruz would suffer another setback as he would injure his groin and once again fail to show up for a fight. It has been a terrible few years for Cruz and it would all come to a head this year when the groin injury would lead to the end of his reign as champion. Cruz had been gone for two years and waiting another 6 months or more for him to recover was simply not in the cards. So the UFC would strip him of the title and would pass it to the interim champion. Cruz would be left to fight his way back to the top of the division and will now have to fight to get a title back that he never truly lost. In his place is Renan Barao who has been waiting for a real title shot for two years. After Cruz went down with his ACL injury in 2011 Barao would fill his spot against Urijah Faber. Winning that fight he would take the interim title. Since then Barao has defended the belt twice while he awaited the return of Cruz to earn the undisputed championship. Now he is the champion but crowned without a fight to truly earn the undisputed championship. He will get the chance to prove he is worthy by facing the man that he beat to earn the interim championship. Urijah Faber has been one of the best fighters in the last year and has earned his spot amongst the best in the Bantamweight division. Still he would have to wait for the fight between Barao and Cruz to get that shot. With the injury to Cruz Faber will step up to become the challenger in what will be Barao’s first undisputed championship title defence. Both fighters are well-rounded and love to finish their fights as they are both known for their submissions. They are fast on their feet and use their striking to get the fight to the ground and finish their opponents. Both fighters are also on a long winning streak with both fighters are hot heading into their title fight. Barao is currently on a 21 fight win streak that stretches to the WEC days and has a number of key victories including a KO win over Eddie Wineland in his last fight. Faber’s winning streak is much less but there is something different about his streak. Since losing to Barao in the interim title fight Faber has put together four straight wins and has done so in dominant fashion including a great submission win over Michael McDonald in his last fight. The fight is guaranteed to be a fast one with both fighters trying to get their way in the fight and do everything they can to get that advantage. Urijah Faber and Renan Barao have been waiting a while to earn this title and both will leave everything they have in the octagon to take advantage of the opportunity. Both have been so good as of late that it is a tough fight to predict but if there is any time that Faber can win it is now. He has looked like the best version of himself in the past year and he will learn from his first loss to Barao to win the Bantamweight title with a tight unanimous decision win.

The Bantamweight title will not be the only title on the line at UFC 169 as another lightweight championship will be determined. Dominick Cruz was considered to be a potential dominant champion but has not been able to show it while his counterpart in the Featherweight division as shown that and more. Jose Aldo was called the greatest fighter in the UFC by the most dominant champion in the history of the UFC. Anderson Silva would claim that the fellow Brazilian was the best pound for pound fighter only a year into his reign as the Featherweight Champion. He has proven that to be right as there have been few people who have tested Aldo for the championship. He is currently on a 15 fight win streak and has won two of his UFC title defences via KO. Aldo is also now one of the only Brazilian champions in the UFC, Renan Barao is the other. With Anderson Silva losing Aldo is now carrying the torch for a MMA crazy country as the most dominant current champion to come out of the country. He is hoping that he can continue to carry this country when he takes on Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169. It will not be easy though as Lamas may be the toughest striker Aldo has ever faced. Lamas is one of the strongest Featherweights in the UFC and will look to stand toe-to-toe with Aldo. Lamas has finished 3 fights in his current 4 fight win streak, 2 via KO and 1 via submission. Aldo is no slouch on the feet either though as his kicks are some of the best in the UFC. It could be a great standup war between both fighters as Lamas looks to end the reign of another Brazilian champion while Aldo is looking to stay atop the featherweight division. Only one will come out on top though as the first title fight of the night could bring some great fireworks to the night.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Renan “The Baron” Barao vs. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber [Bantamweight Title] (Pay-per-View)

Main Card:
Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas [Featherweight Title] (Pay-per-View)

Frank Mir vs. Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (Pay-per-View)

John “Hands of Stone” Lineker vs. Ali “Puncher” Bagautinov (Pay-per-View)

Jamie Varner vs. Abel “Killa” Trujillo (Pay-per-View)

Undercard:
John “The Bull” Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso vs. Danny “The Gremlin” Martinez (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone vs. Tom “Kong” Watson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Al “Raging” Iaquinta vs. Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Clint “Headbussa” Hester vs. Andy “Lionheart” Enz (UFC Fight Pass)

Tony Martin vs. Rashid “Highlander” Magomedov (UFC Fight Pass)

Neil Magny vs. Gasan “Cobra” Umalatov (UFC Fight Pass)

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