Renan Barao got the better of Brad Pickett tonight in the co-main event of UFC 138 after an action packed round of fighting.
The two fighters came out of the blocks fast and started trading in the pocket with Pickett’s head being rocked back by several punches. The Brit didn’t give an inch however and continued to trade leather with the Brazilian as the two men both proved they have stout chins.
As the round progressed Pickett continued to attempt to push the pace and landed some good shots, but Barao was still landing with more frequency, though his flashy kicks from range were landing wide of the mark.
Given the ferocious pace and mean intention with which the strikes were being thrown it was only a matter of time before somebody got hurt, and despite being cheered on to great effect by the home crowd it was Pickett who found himself rocked by a knee mid-way through the round.
That stopped him in his tracks and gave Barao a chance to unleash a hail-storm of punches that further relieved the UK fighter of his senses and dropped him to the mat.
Despite the beating he had just taken Pickett somehow appeared to have his wits about him as he lay on his back with Barao attempting to unleash more punishment and he managed to defend himself well enough that the referee, who looked close to stopping the fight, backed off.
Barao had no intention of letting him off the hook however and slickly took his back before sinking in a rear-naked choke. The plucky Brit did his best to resist it, but in the end had no option other than to tap before rolling to his knees with his head in his hands, clearly devastated by the loss.
The Brazilian Barao looked excellent here though both on the feet and standing, and looks like he could be a very worthy title contender at 135lbs.