Jeremy Stephens (25-12) welcomed Renan Barao (33-4 1NC) to UFC’s Featherweight division at UFC Fight Night 88 earlier tonight (Sun., May 29, 2016) and used excellent takedown defense and timely striking to pick up the unanimous decision victory inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28.
Stephens, 30, landed some huge strikes throughout the contest, but Barao soldiered on and wouldn’t go down.
Barao, who was making his 145-pound debut, looked sharp and crispy early, landing several nice combinations and low kicks. The former UFC Bantamweight champion moved in on a takedown along the fence, but could not capitalize. Stephens tried for a takedown with a little over a minute left in the round, but he too, was unsuccessful. Barao landed a couple of solid punches with about 30 seconds left and then went in on another takedown attempt, but he could not land it.
In the second, Barao continued to set up takedowns with his striking, but found no success with the latter of the two. Stephens landed a huge uppercut that rocked Barao and he moved in looking to capitalize. The Brazilian recovered, but was subjected to a few more solid punches by Stephens. Barao moved in on another takedown, but again Stephens easily defended it. The Alliance MMA trained fighter landed a solid straight right hand and a low kick as the round was winding down, and Barao went for his 10th takedown of the fight, but again, came up empty.
In the final frame, Stephens and Barao stood toe-to-toe in the center of the Octagon and blood began to trickle down the left side of Barao’s face. With about two minutes left in the bout, Barao finally landed his first takedown after about one dozen attempts. Barao tried to take the back of ….View full article
Source:: mma mania