It’s a sign of a healthy division that Renan Barao, once a shrewd interjection to the raging pound-for-pound conversation, was forced to flee his bantamweight kingdom in search of reinvention. It didn’t quite work out for him in his featherweight debut at UFC Fight Night 88, either, as he lost a unanimous decision to Jeremy Stephens.
As far as career trajectories go, the fight game is full of such sharp left turn cruelty.
Yet that bantamweight division that he once ruled has become a deep and colorful flowerbed for competitive matchmaking, as evidenced on Sunday night in Las Vegas. Aljamain Sterling, one of the key names on the “watch out for that dude” list, was stalled in his first fight back after signing a new contract. It turns out the man who beat him, Bryan Caraway, has more than a diverse troll game — he has his own ambitious plans for the weight class. With no better explanation for such perseverance, the best everybody could do after Sunday night was nod Caraway through as a “seasoned veteran,” and stick him full of “wily” adjectives.
Just like that, Caraway’s in the top five space in what could be the UFC’s most compelling weight class.
But the true future of the division played out in the main event between 24-year old Cody Garbrandt and Brazil’s 24-year old Thomas Almeida, two dystopian strikers who carried that youthful feeling of invincibility to the Octagon. Similar to how Jon Jones’ headlining spot against Brandon Vera felt like a glimpse of an inevitable champion ready for the role in 2010, Garbrandt needed less than three minutes to take Almeida out with punches. It was a virtuoso performance in his biggest test to date. Garbrandt, now 9-0, vanquished his ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting