UFC 169: Barao to maintain streak against Faber

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Record-breaking UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will extend his impressive unbeaten run against California’s Urijah Faber when the pair clash at UFC 169 in New Jersey this weekend.

The Baron lost his first fight as an MMA professional but has scaled great heights since, winning 30 and seeing one bout ruled a no contest in his last 31 outings.

His step up to the UFC ranks has done little to slow his rise to the top either, with the 26-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt wining all six of his fights so far.

His opponent for the night – The California Kid – started out in the UFC at around the same time in 2011 and while also pulling off six victories has lost two of his fights already and six in his career to date.

At 5ft 6 the American is an inch down on his opponent and at 34 has eight years more wear and tear to contend with.

Despite not holding the strap, Faber is the UFC’s number one-ranked fighter in the division, but this will do little to dent the confidence of the Natal-born star who beat Faber in their last meeting 18 months ago.

That fight went the distance but the Brazilian’s odds of 4/11 to win this match-up suggest it will not be such a close affair this time round.

Faber is priced as the 9/4 underdog to come out on top at the Garden State’s Prudential Center and this is largely down to Barao’s work rate.

The younger man finished his WEC career on a high by outstriking his final two opponents and carried that form into the sport’s top organisation.

Barao has outstruck all six of his opponents at UFC level and showed his power last time out with a TKO win over Eddie Wineland.

Faber is not renowned for his striking power, with the majority of his wins coming by way of submission, and with the American suffering two career knockouts to the Brazilian’s none the 4/1 on Barao winning by KO, TKO or disqualification certainly appeals.

However,  with 14 of Barao’s wins and 17 of Faber’s victories coming by way of submission, the smart money should go on the former wining by such method again at tempting odds of 10/3.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.