UFC 149 Results & Recap: Barao outclasses Faber

nullUFC 149 saw a new champion crowned, an interim champ that is.

Renan Barao pushed his winning streak to 29 fights by beating Urijah Faber via unanimous decision to win the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship on Saturday night.

Barao made not have gotten the finish, but he decisively beat Faber thanks to his reach and his kicks. Each round he managed to out-point Faber and stay out of danger, leaving “The California Kid” puzzled throughout.

Barao certainly beat Faber in easier fashion than the actual champ, Dominick Cruz. It will be interesting to see if Cruz can find a way to stop the runaway train that is Barao. Barao may very well be the best 135-pounder in the world.

Faber has now lost his last five championship bouts, dating back to his time as a featherweight in the WEC. Though he is still highly competitive, he will likely not get another title fight anytime soon.

In the co-main event, Hector Lombard had a very unimpressive UFC debut.

The man considered to be a potential threat to Anderson Silva proved to be more of a threat to himself, as he was very tentative against Tim Boetsch. Neither man did much to impress, but two of the three judges believed that Boetsch did a little bit more, which earned him a split decision.

The poor showing from both men may open the door for Chris Weidman to earn the next middleweight title shot following his brutal KO win over Mark Munoz last week.

For complete results from UFC 149, check out the jump.

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What did we learn this week? For May 6, 2012

nullIt has been a while since I have posted on here, but I am back with weekly looks at MMA, mainly the UFC.

So, here is a look at what we learned this week.

- Nate Diaz may be an unsolvable problem for 155 pounders – Nate Diaz looked more than impressive against Jim Miller in the UFC on FOX 3 main event on Saturday. Miller had the kind of style that I expected to give Diaz some trouble, but he ran right through him. Diaz’ long reach has really been a problem for his opponents and he seems to be a vastly improved fighter since moving back from welterweight to lightweight. Miller was one of the top fighters in the division and Diaz made him look like a first timer. Diaz could legitimately become the UFC champion as I don’t know that a Benson Henderson or Frankie Edgar will be able to outwork him or deal with his jabs.

- Where does Josh Koscheck go from here? – Certainly it would be hard to say that Josh Koscheck was dominated by Johny Hendricks and you could maybe make the argument that he beat Hendricks on Saturday. Regardless, Koscheck certainly didn’t dominate Hendricks either. Koscheck seems to have become a fighter that refuses to go back to his roots when needed. He is one of the top wrestlers, and perhaps most explosive wrestler, in the 170 pound division. Koscheck is relying on his big swings and limited striking to try and win fights, even when it is clear he is not winning. Koscheck has only been out-wrestled one time in his career, and that was by Georges St. Pierre. In a fight like Saturday’s, I would have liked to see him take Hendricks down and work his ground striking as opposed to hoping for a knockout punch. Now Koscheck is lost in the welterweight division and not capable, in my mind, to make a run at middleweight. He needs to reinvent himself if he hopes to ever win UFC gold.

- Where would Alan Belcher be if he never got injures? – Belcher had about as good of a performance as Diaz, as he stopped Rousimar Palhares in the first round with some vicious ground and pound. Belcher was on a nice run in the UFC prior to an eye injury that nearly ended his career and sidelined him for over a year. Since his return, Belcher has first round finishes of Jason MacDonald and Palhares and he has won four straight overall. The middleweight division has quickly become very competitive with the addition of Hector Lombard. With Chael Sonnen, Brian Stann, Mark Munoz, and Michael Bisping all in the mix, Belcher should be right there with them.

Hector Lombard: A top 10 Middleweight?

nullThe highlight of Bellator 44 on Saturday night was a knockout win for middleweight champion, Hector Lombard.

The 33-year-old member of American Top Team knocked out Falaniko Vitale in the third round of their contest, giving Lombard 16 wins by knockout in his career and pushing his record to 29-2-1 overall.

Like Bellator Lightweight Champion, Eddie Alvarez, the question has to be asked; where does Lombard stack up against the best of the middleweights in all of MMA?

Lombard is a big, burly 185-pounder that has also fought at 190 pounds and at light heavyweight (205 pounds) in his career, finding success in each weight class.

Currently, Lombard is riding an 18-fight win streak and his last loss came in 2006 to Strikeforce light heavyweight, Gegard Mousasi.

Lombard holds wins over former UFC contenders Joe Doerksen, Kalib Starnes, and Vitale. Four of his last six bouts have ended with a first round knockout, with two taking place in less than 40 seconds. Lombard has even forced a few opponents to tap to his strikes.

Lombard has had success overseas and in the states for Bellator and other organizations, but he has yet to fight under the Zuffa umbrella.

Certainly the numbers support Lombard being considered a top 10 middleweight in MMA, but until he gets a chance to really prove himself in the UFC or Strikeforce, it is going to be tough to just know what kind of potential this guy has. Certainly, he has to be one of the best fighters in the world that is now employed by Zuffa.

Your weekly MMA TV Schedule update

nullAnother Sunday night means another MMA on TV update for the week.

This week, there is a pretty light load, but here is a look at the MMA content that will be airing:

- On Wednesday, the seventh episode of The Ultimate Fighter will air on SpikeTV at 9 p.m. ET. The prelim fights are complete and the wild card fighters have been chosen. Now the quarterfinals will be set with the wild card match and coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos will compete in the annual coaches’ challenge.

- On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on MTV2, Bellator 44 will take place from Caesar’s Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. The main event is the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament final with Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (9-1) taking on Michael Chandler (7-0). Another featured bout pits Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard (27-2-1) taking on Falaniko Vitale (28-9) in a non-title fight.