Renan Barao vs. Cole Escovedo
Round 1: Barao opens up and presses the action moving forward then taking the fight to the ground. Barao works from butterfly guard to land short punches, but stands up just as Escovedo attempts an armbar from the back. Back on the feet, Barao throws a left hand then a left kick before the two clinch against the cage and Escovedo pulls guard. Barao back in Escovedo’s guard and manages to get through some elbows while there before the ref stands them back up due to there being little action. At just under a minute left, the fight returns to the ground and Escovedo does his best to defends Barao’s offense. Round one ends just before Escovedo tries an upkick.
Round 2: Barao eats some shots and goes for the double leg before getting this fight to the ground. He stands back up and the ref tells Escovedo to stand as well. While on the feet, Barao keeps moving forward, but Escovedo later lands a nice left kick to the body. The fight returns to the ground after Barao gets the bodylock into a trip. He does little from the ground before the ref stands them up again. Escovedo moves forward and clinches with his opponent against the cage. Barao reverses position and Escovedo pulls guard again with about 20 seconds left in the round. Round ends there with Barao in Escovedo’s guard.
Round 3: Final round starts with Barao throwing a front kick, and later, a flying knee that just misses its target. Escovedo pushes Barao back to the feet and Barao takes the center of the Octagon. Nice spinning back fist by Barao lands and it woo’s the crowd. Effective striking on display by Barao thus far in the fight. Another flying knee by Barao just misses. A right hand looks like it shakes Escovedo and Barao grabs his opponent, lifts him up and slams him down. The two stand a little later and Barao lands more shots before taking his opponent down hard and ending the fight at the bell.
Official call: Renan Barao defeats Cole Escovedo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)