Faber, Barao want to give a memorable fight at UFC 149

CALGARY — A fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao may not have been the first choice for the main event of UFC 149, but the two fighters are determined to make their battle in Calgary a memorable affair.

ADDS FIGHTERS' NAMES Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Renan Barao

ADDS FIGHTERS' NAMES Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Renan Barao

CALGARY — A fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao may not have been the first choice for the main event of UFC 149, but the two fighters are determined to make their battle in Calgary a memorable affair.

Faber and Barao will close Saturday night’s card, and the winner will leave the Scotiabank Saddledome with the interim UFC bantamweight title.

“The reason people are going to be tuning in is to find out if he’s better than I am,” said Faber (26-5), a native of Sacramento, Calif. “I don’t think that he is and he thinks that he’s better than I am. We’re going to beat the crap out of each other and find out. I plan on winning.”

Also on the main card, middleweights Hector Lombard and Tim Boetsch will go toe-to-toe, while heavyweights Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan will square off.

Brian Ebersole takes on James Head while Chris Clements of London, Ont., will battle Matthew Riddle in welterweight fights.

“Not only are these fights good fights, but they mean something,” said UFC president Dana White. “The two guys fighting in the main event are fighting for the title to see who fights Dominick Cruz for the undisputed champion.”

Earlier this month at UFC 148, Faber was supposed to fight Cruz, who had to bow out due to a knee injury. The winner of Saturday’s fight between Faber and Barao will get a shot to take on Cruz once he recovers.

Barao (30-1-0), of Rio de Janeiro, has gone 29 fights without a loss and he’s confident he can extend that impressive streak against Faber.

“I feel fine, I feel comfortable and I’ll be ready for Saturday,” Barao said through an interpreter. “I’ve been working very hard for such a long time. I’m very happy and grateful for this opportunity and I’ll make the most of it.”

This is the first-ever UFC event in Calgary, and White has vowed to arrange another fight card at the Saddledome for as early as next year.

“I’ve been waiting to come to Calgary for a long time,” White said. “Canada has been a mecca for mixed martial arts for a long time. I love coming up here. I love Canada. It’s a great, great country.”

When it was announced in May, the UFC 149 main event featured Jose Aldo taking on Erik Koch for the featherweight title, with Mauricio Rua battling Thiago Silva in another featured bout. After Aldo and Silva went down with leg and back injuries respectively, the busted card had to be re-jigged.

“This is the business we’re in,” said White, while adding that there was never any discussion of cancelling the injury-plagued event.

“This is what we do. We put on fights. The day we can’t put on more fights, we might as well pack up the tents and call it a day.”

Michael Bisping, Thiago Alves, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira also dropped out with injuries, resulting in even more changes to the card.

“It’s a testament to these guys and to the sport,” White said. “When things fall apart and we have to make some moves and everything else, these guys have no problem. Whereas boxing would have to cancel an event, our guys are dynamite. Not only do they adapt and move their camps and do everything that they need to do, but they deliver every time they get in there and they’ll deliver on Saturday night.”

Saturday’s preliminary card will feature Canadians fighting in all four bouts. Bantamweight Mitch Gagnon of Sudbury, Ont., will kick things off with a fight against Bryan Caraway before Edmonton’s Ryan Jimmo will battle Australian Anthony Perosh in a light-heavyweight bout.

After Roland Delorme of Winnipeg takes on Francisco Rivera in a bantamweight bout, Calgary’s Nick Ring will trade blows with Court McGee in a middleweight matchup.

“As a Calgarian, fighting in Calgary at the UFC, it’s an incredible feeling,” Ring said.

“This is the Olympics of my sport. The level doesn’t get any higher than this.”

The pay-per-view events on the main card will then get under way with Clements up first in a welterweight bout against Riddle.

“I’m blessed for the opportunity,” Clements said. “I’m just pumped and excited to go out there and prove that I deserved it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

With a ban on sit-in dining set to begin at noon Friday, Las Palmeras owner Andre Lemus is gearing up for more takeout and delivery business. He has also applied to set up and outdoor patio, where dining is allowed under new restrictions, and is selling his own branded seasonings, salsa, guacamole, tequila bags, margerita kits, and even aprons like the one he is wearing.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Big interest in outdoor patios in Red Deer as sit-down dining banned again

City of Red Deer has tweaked its patio regulations to make it easier to get a permit

A sustainability audit for Westerner Park suggested 33 changes, including more city involvement. (Advocate file photo)
Westerner Park expands volunteer program

Westerner Park is recruiting volunteers to fill several positions. The new Volunteer… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Appeal Court restores privileges for man who killed five at Calgary house party

EDMONTON — The Alberta Court of Appeal has restored some privileges for… Continue reading

A 19-day trial has been set for June 2022 for Chase Freed, who is accused of shooting to death a shopper outside the southside Red Deer Walmart and firing shots at two other people in the parking lot. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Man accused of killing a shopper outside Red Deer Walmart in December 2019 to go to trial in 2022

Chase Freed charged with second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
All adult Albertans to be offered first dose of vaccine by end of June: Premier

Alberta’s premier says the province will be “back to normal” when 72… Continue reading

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on December 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle
New regulator to stop sexual exploitation of children online: public safety minister

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government will introduce… Continue reading

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Sasha/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

OTTAWA — A new report shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he will vote against a… Continue reading

Eugene Kwon of Gratia Bakery and Cafe says the business will be relying on take out orders and a small patio. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

OTTAWA — A group representing thousands of the country’s small businesses says… Continue reading

Ron Howard is photographed at the "Inferno" film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Brothers Ron and Clint Howard have memoir coming in October

NEW YORK — Filmmaker-actor Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, brothers, former… Continue reading

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres’ Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Boston Bruins acquire Taylor Hall to kick off NHL trade deadline day

Trade deadline day in the NHL has started with the Boston Bruins… Continue reading

The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Poland’s Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Huawei, HSBC agree on document deal for extradition case

HONG KONG — Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei said Monday that it… Continue reading

Most Read