Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao is done cutting weight. After losing his past four fights, three of them at 135, and missing weight in two of them, the 32-year-old believes the gruelling weight cut is behind all of those defeats.
Now paired up against fellow former bantamweight moving up in Douglas Silva, Renan tells Ag Fight he expects being able to put on much better performances. He claims he was not able to fight in those bouts and should not have lost to some of the fighters he did.
“The worst thing that was going on at bantamweight was the weight cut. I was harming myself in every single of those performances. I couldn’t put on a good performance, I couldn’t train well. I was stuck in my diet. I would look at the guys I lost to and asked myself ‘How could I lose to those guys?’ I couldn’t fight in my last four bouts.”
With losses to the likes of Aljamain Sterling at a 140 catchweight fight, and Brian Kelleher, Andre Ewell and Luke Sanders at bantamweight, Barao’s last win dates back exactly to his last featherweight appearance, a September 2016 unanimous decision win over Phillipe Nover. For the Brazilian, being free from the weight cutting and the dieting made him feel happy to train again.
“Nowadays I’m a new person. I’m much happier, more enthused, I’ve been enjoying training. I have always liked it, but I didn’t have that will in me before, that energy. It used to be three months of dieting. Not anymore, now I go to the gym happy, super excited.”
For his next bout, Barao is expected to take on Douglas Silva at UFC Fight Night 164, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 16. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between former middleweight contender Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Jan Blachowicz.