UFC 169 Fight Breakdown: Renan Barao (-270) vs. Urijah Faber (+230)

Urijah Faber The main event of UFC 169 is a five-round title fight between UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao and top contender Urijah “The California Kid” Faber. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Barao as a -270 betting favorite (bet $270 to win $100) while Faber is a +230 underdog (bet $100 to win $230). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Barao at -270 and Faber at +230, meaning the betting action has stayed pretty consistent on both sides. This is a tough fight to call, but I’m going to go with the favorite Barao to come through with the victory. Here’s why. Barao (31-1, 1 NC) is the UFC bantamweight champion, having been promoted from the interim title after Dominick Cruz vacated the belt last month due to injury. The 26-year-old Brazilian is an incredible talent who is currently riding a 31-fight undefeated streak including victories over Faber, Michael McDonald, Eddie Wineland, Scott Jorgensen, Rony Jason and Brad Pickett. In fact, his only career loss came in his very first fight back in 2005 and it was by split decision. Barao is an amazing fighter who is extremely well-rounded and dangerous in every area of the game. He has knockout power, incredible submission prowess, and fantastic takedown defense. He also trains with a great camp. Barao previously met Faber at UFC 149 and defeated him via unanimous decision in what was a pretty clear win for him. However, Faber did have a broken rib in that fight and we don’t really know how much it affected him. At the same time, though, Barao has improved a ton since he first met Faber. Now, at UFC 169, they will meet again to prove who the better man really is once and for all. Faber (30-6) is the former WEC featherweight champion and is the current number one contender in the UFC’s bantamweight division, having earned his shot at the title after defeating Michael McDonald, Scott Jorgensen, Yuri Alcantara and Ivan Menjivar in what was an incredible 2013 for the California native. The 34-year-old wasn’t originally scheduled to fight Barao at UFC 169, but when Dominick Cruz got injured, Faber stepped up and is taking this fight on just three weeks’ notice. Still, this is a guy who is always in incredible physical shape and I don’t expect his cardio to suffer too much even with the short notice factor working against him. As far as his skills go, Faber is a wrestler who has excellent submissions and improving standup. He’s very well-rounded, and the only things that are really hurting him at this point are his age and the fact he’s been through so many wars. Having lost a number of chances to win the title in recent years, I expect a very motivated Faber to show up against Barao this weekend. But will that be enough? I’m not so sure. I see this fight taking place primarily on the feet and although Faber has definitely improved his stand-up since the last time he met Barao, I don’t think it will be enough to get him the win here. I see Barao mixing in his kicks and punches, outstriking Faber, and winning a competitive decision on the judges’ scorecards at the end of 25 minutes. At -270, I’m not seeing any value in Barao as I do think this fight will be more competitive than the first time these two met and I think it will come down to how the judges see it. So if Faber ends up at +300, I might have to take a stab. Having said that, I do think that Barao will get the nod, but with the current state of MMA judging I’m not willing to lay that kind of juice. As far as props go, the total of OVER 4.5 rounds is -150 and that’s the only lean I have so far. This is mostly just going to be a fight that I will watch and enjoy as a fan and hope we get a Fight of the Night candidate out of it.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

UFC Fight Night 36 Full Opening Betting Odds

MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Julianna Pena Out For Two Years Following Catastrophic Knee Injury