There was a special announcement on last night’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter: Live as word of Dominick Cruz’s replacement to fight Urijah Faber at UFC 148 was revealed.
As many had hoped and anticipated it’s Brazil’s Renan Barao who will get the chance to fight Faber for the interim bantamweight title.
Barao’s opportunity came after TUF: Live coach and bantamweight champion Cruz tore his ACL in training, ruling him out of a rubber match with his opposite coach Faber. Despite that he will still stay on to coach his team for the rest of the season.
It’s not hard to see why Barao was chosen if you look at his credentials. He’s only lost once in 30 fights – his first ever bout, and while the majority of his wins have come in his native Brazil he’s since proven his worth by picking up two wins in the WEC followed by a further three in the UFC, taking out top opposition like Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen along the way.
Aside from the Faber Vs Barao announcement, TUF: Live episode 11 also featured two quarter-final fights.
Firstly Vince Pichel claimed a place in the final by claiming a majority decision win over Chris Saunders (20-18 x2, 19-19). It was a closely contested bout with neither man doing anything definitive and perhaps this one would have been best served going to a third round.
Meanwhile, Al Iaquinta got the better of Andy Ogle in the striking exchanges, putting him on his back and then when he got upright again flooring him with a right hand that ended the fight by TKO at 4.44mins of the first round.