Interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao scored a spectacular stoppage win over Eddie Wineland at UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto with a spinning back kick in the second round that stunned the challenger and was swiftly followed up with a fight finishing flurry of punches.
It was an eye-catching performance from the Brazilian, who had bided his time in the opening round, scoring with a series of low kicks to the inside left leg of Wineland and seeing a couple of takedown attempts easily shrugged off.
If the opening five minutes had been uneventful, the second stanza more than made up for it as Barao landed a spinning back kick that knocked Wineland backwards. Replays showed his heel had glanced off the side of the American’s face, but the damage was done as Wineland was left dazed and defenseless.
Joe Rogan was adamant that it was the first spinning back kick knockout in UFC history, although Barao needed a few follow-up punches to finish the job and register the seventh win by stoppage due to strikes of his career.
Dana White had earlier moved to quash rumors that regular 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz was about to be stripped of the belt and announced he would be given until early 2014 to recover from his knee injury.
Speaking after the win, which came at 0:35 of the second round, an elated Barao had a simple message, “I’m just waiting for Dominick Cruz now.”
Cruz has not stepped inside the Octagon since October 2011, but if he is able to meet White’s timetable for recovery, a unification bout could be next for Barao, who is now 30-1-0-1 overall and 6-0 in the UFC.