It’s kind of easy to gloss over the rest of last night’s UFC 165 card, considering how amazing Jones-Gustafsson was, but the event also featured a pivotal win for interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. The fighter not only stopped Eddie Wineland to extend his undefeated win streak to a ridiculous 32 bouts, but he ensured he’ll face reigning king Dominick Cruz sometime in early 2014 (hopefully).
While Barao fans are likely thrilled about the win, and the 26 year-old proved again why he’s in the promotion’s top ten P4P rankings, some have questioned whether the fight may have been stopped prematurely. Wineland was certainly in deep waters, thanks to a highlight reel spinning back-kick and follow up shots, but some refs may have elected to let the fight go on a little bit longer. As far as Wineland’s take on the stoppage? Not surprisingly the rugged vet didn’t agree with it (comments via MMA Junkie.com):
“Personal opinion – I think bulls–t,” the 29-year-old fighter said in the post fight presser. “He caught me with a great kick. I was by no means out. I was on my way back up, but the referees have their own discretion, and that’s what he felt was the right call. My hat’s off to Renan. It was a good kick.”
UFC President Dana White was also asked to comment on the stoppage and stated:
“It’s one of those tough calls,” White said”Trust me, I don’t like it when fights are stopped and the guy jumps right up, but he got blasted with that kick, and that’s a nasty kick that knocks people out, and he looked wobbly when he got up. If I thought it was, I’d be smashing the ref. But that was a tough one.”
All this aside, it’s hard to take too much away from Barao’s performance, who hopefully will get booked to fight Cruz sooner than later.
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