Dana White Says If Renan Barao Finishes Urijah Faber, He’s Probably the Top Pound-for-Pound Fighter

January 16, 2014
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Renan Barao

Newly named UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao faces Urijah Faber on Feb. 1, and if he can finish the former featherweight titleholder UFC president Dana White believes he’ll have proven that he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

“If Barao goes out and stops Faber, he’s probably the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world,” said White following UFC Fight Night 35 in Duluth, Ga., on Wednesday.

Currently, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (19-1) sits atop the pound-for-pound rankings. Barao (31-1, 1NC) is riding a 30-fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since his professional fighting debut in April 2005.

The upcoming bout with Faber is a rematch. Barao won the interim bantamweight title at UFC 149 in July 2012 by defeating Faber. He’s defended the belt twice.

He was originally scheduled to face former champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 169, but Cruz was forced out of the fight due to a groin injury. Cruz has been plagued with a nagging knee injury that’s required two surgeries to repair. He hasn’t fought since October 2011.  When he withdrew from the Barao fight, he relinquished his bantamweight title. It was transferred to Barao.

Barao is currently ranked sixth in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.

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  • fsunoles10

    you cant throw that man over jones or aldo yet, hell i dont even think you can put him above cain at this point. but this pound for pound talk is absolutely stupid cuz there is no way to find out for sure.

  • drkdisciple

    This p4p is turning out to be a joke. I love to watch Barao but he is not the best p4p fighter and Rousey has no business in the top 10.

    • ♞ Castle Bravo ♞

      I don’t know, there aren’t too many people that Barao hasn’t beat in his weight division. It’s hard to argue with those stats. I wholeheartedly agree with you about Rousey, though.

      • drkdisciple

        Dont get me wrong I love to watch Barao fight but he cant be considered ahead of Cain , Bones and Aldo in the P4P list

        • ♞ Castle Bravo ♞

          Maybe, maybe not. I think part of the problem is that while Barao has nasty stats (I mean he hasn’t lost a fight since his debut), those other fighters have more publicity so it skews the perception of their abilities.

          To me, Cain shouldn’t even be considered anywhere close to top P4P because he hasn’t beat anyone impressive to get where he is. The HW division is a joke.

          Bones and Aldo are more arguable, but in the case of JBJ, I think he still needs a few more fights to prove that.

          • drkdisciple

            I guess its a matter of opinion. JDS is a beast and Cain beat him twice. On the other hand Barao has not faced a JDS type opponent. Once again i have to mention that I think Barao belongs in the top 5 P4P just not number 1 (beating Faber will prove nothing because we all know he will)

    • Manuel Lopez

      Rousey belongs there… no woman has been able to beat her so it’s a legitimate ranking. Barao hasn’t lost in 8 years!! Cain was knocked out once, Bones could hardly walk out of the cage in his last fight, Anderson Silva has been destroyed twice, and Aldo got lucky that KZombie dislocated his shoulder… because Kzombie looked better than Aldo in that fight.

      • jimmy

        aldo killed zombie and who as barao fought in the last 8 years

      • King_DG

        No Ronda doesn’t belong there, she ducked cyborg, she dropped to 135 just so she wouldn’t have to fight her and also she started talking sh!t when cyborg got suspended and knew she couldn’t do anything about it.

  • Barao is incredible but Aldo and Cain have pretty much cleared out their division. Once Cain fights the winner of Werdum/Browne I don’t know who could be left for him. Aldo will most likely be rematching Mendes. Speaking of Chad, is anyone interested in Mendes vs Edgar?

    • jimmy

      wot a great fight that wud b winning of that fight cud then b numba 1 dnt no y edar fighting penn again

      • Yea I don’t know how many people are interested in Penn and Edgar on TUF. Can’t compare the entertaining rivalries of Ortiz/Shamrock, Sonnen/W. Silva and Hughes/Serra to those two. It is kind of exciting to see Penn back though, especially at a lighter weight.

  • way i see it

    the guys on a 30 fight win streak end of case…. in pple saying cain… have you forgotten he just lost one of his last three fights… this guy hasnt lost in 30 fights aldo awesome in cant dethrone bones till he gets beat but cant say cain just yet

    • uncle

      I agree Barao been winning for like 8 years
      just because he is not popular as Cain and Jones ,he is being overlooked if he stops Faber
      how could you deny him ?

    • fsunoles10

      cain showed that jds ko was just a case of getting caught, something like matt serra catching gsp. he turned around and thoroughly dominated jds in the next 2 fights which in turn i dont want to call any fight a fluke but thats pretty much the epitome of a fluke. barao is a beast but you forget cain has only lost 1 fight and i dont need to touch on that again, also the jds loss was 5 fights ago bud.

  • Js

    Leg kicks will be tha factor

  • BobGyro

    Top pound for pound?? Cain bar none

  • Marcus Miles

    I don’t think he should be p4p best until he beats all the records that are currently set by the p4p best. His record is amazing but he isn’t the champ yet. Once he becomes champ, sets some records straight then no doubt. Dana is just trying to market right now.

  • David

    I personally don’t get this p4p talk its impossible to tell. If they were to actually fight Cain would beat everyone. The only thing that would make sense to me is if a fighter that is a champion can go to a weight class above them and below them and win. However i don’t see any fighter being able to do that. For instance Jones will lose to Cain and can’t go to middleweight because he’s too big. Weidman can possibly beat Jones but i don’t see him making welterweight. GSP (if still in the picture) cannot beat Weidman but can possibly beat Pettis ( I don’t think so though but very possible). Pettis would be too small at Welterweight and can beat Aldo at light weight. Aldo cannot make it to bantamweight and I doubt can beat Pettis. Barao on the other hand can possibly beat Aldo but i doubt it because Aldo is a big featherweight and I believe can beat Mighty Mouse. Mighty Mouse doesn’t have a lower weight class to fight at. The only way I can see a fighter beating a champion at a weight class above them and below them (in size) is if they possibly fight at a catchweight or if they add a super heavy weight division. Cain has shown he can beat someone with Brocks Stature and would win against Jones in my opinion.

    • TwoFirstNames

      Pettis wouldn’t beat Aldo at LW..

      • toom

        more insane he thinks gsp cant beat pettis who pretty much sucks what has pettis done thats so impressive he has bensons number and the only other top guy he beat was cerone

        • TwoFirstNames

          Yeah, if Guida could hold down Pettis, GSP would wrestle-fuck him lol

        • David

          If you read my comment again I meant at lightweight. I said Pettis would be to small for welterweight.

          • toom

            Gsp is over 200 lbs he couldn’t make less lightweight unless you took one of his legs

    • Jay

      I don’t agree with the logic, but I think might mouse could out point bArao with takedowns and I think he could make and beat anyone at straw weight, unfortunately 115 and 125 aren’t very stacked

      • TwoFirstNames

        There isn’t even a men’s Straw weight division in the UFC, what r u talking about?

  • George Sperry

    All respect to Barao but EVERYBODY beats the “California Cud” in title matches.

  • Wayde Barnes

    I just don’t understand how most of these people who are left in charge of it, come up with the list in the first place. There’s absolutely no way in hell that you can have a woman on the same list as ANY man. Pound For Pound means, in simple english, that if each fighter weighed the same, and they fought, who’d most likely win. There’s no way that Rousey beats any men in the UFC, or any other promotion for that matter. Every 135 pounder would smash her, so pound for pound, she’s nowhere near any man and should never be considered for the list. Maybe, if they had a P4P list for women, then yes, she’d definitely top that one. But if we talk about the men, it goes like this… we know the answer with Weidman and Silva. They weighed the same, they fought, and Weidman won, twice, so, pound for pound, he’s better than Silva and deserves to be ahead of him on the list. By this weeks list I see that Demetrius Johnson is ranked above Chris Weidman. I don’t care how long he’s been fighting or how many 125 pounders he’s beaten, I don’t see him beating Weidman if they fought with both weighing 185 or 125. Chris’ wrestling is equally as good, but most likely better. His BJJ is definitely better, and until his last fight, DJ hasn’t ever knocked anyone out. He’s had a couple of submissions and more than one split decisions. It’s more than likely that Chris would destroy him at either weight. That’s the way that Pound For Pound ranking works. I’d rank Chris at 4 before DJ, but definitely NO RONDA, or any women on this list.

  • Maddawgmar

    You all are talking about an imaginary list. Kind of if Ali fought Tyson bouth in their primes who would win? It’ll never happen so it doesn’t matter. Pound for pound is a skill and effectiveness list, IMO.

    • Xavier

      Which is why Jones wins….no one else can take another fighter and dominate them at their strengths like Johnnyy bones

      • p3ezy

        finally, a person that thinks logically. i am not a fan of bones, but you put it perfectly. and if people argue with the gustafsson fight, i guarantee in the rematch bones jones will come out as the more evolved and more skilled fighter.

      • Maddawgmar

        The only challenge I would bring to that is, Gustaffson. Cain has done the exact same thing, his only hiccup is getting caught by JDS which he showed was a fluke.

  • wrestingDad

    I don’t think he can be considered p4p best until he fights Dom C. Until then, he is technically a paper champ IMO. Faber isn’t a factor anymore…

    • p3ezy

      normally i would agree. but cruz has been out for way too long to able to say he is still the champ. going over 2 years without a defense is a valid relinquishment in my books. and you can’t say faber isn’t a factor when his only losses are championship bouts. faber is the dos santos of the bantamweights.. for the time being anyway

      • wrestingDad

        Cruz should’ve lost the belt after the 2nd knee problem. That’s beside the point though. I just don’t think a finish makes him #1 on an imaginary list…

    • RoBeRtOe

      Faber isn’t a factor. Pretty ignorant if you follow MMA closely. Maybe you’re just a Faber Hater, I dunno… Re-watch Faber vs Cruz closely. Cruz out pointed Faber and out worked him in round 5, but all the significant damage was done by Faber. He was by no means outmatched by Cruz. Faber is as dangerous as they come in that weight class, and I expect to see a much closer rematch with Renan
      My .02. Feel free to piss on it if you like.

      • wrestingDad

        Yes. I follow MMA closely… I don’t have to piss on you, maybe you are a Faber nuthugger? I don’t know… he is gifted title shots without really earning them. Some guys have to fight their way back in with more than 1 or 2 fights between title shots.

        • marcus miles

          4 in a row isnt enough?

        • RoBeRtOe

          OK “Dad”