Newly crowned UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao sat down with Sherdog.com this week to discuss his win over Urijah Faber at UFC 149, the emotion he showed after his victory, and what he plans to do now that he’s a UFC champ.
Sherdog.com: Did you hurt your foot? How is it?
Renan Barao: It’s OK. It was only a dislocation. Thank God, it’s all in one piece.
Sherdog.com: What’s your take on the fight? Did it go as planned?
Barao: Well, the strategy was to stay in the middle distance, kicking, and Dede Pederneiras asked me to shoot more. I stopped kicking because of my foot, but thank God, I was able to keep using my boxing strategy and everything worked out.
Sherdog.com: The takedown defense was also perfect.
Barao: We did a good job training takedown defense with my colleagues here at Nova Uniao.
Sherdog.com: What was going through your head when you were jumping around the Octagon, even before the decision was announced?
Barao: Happiness. I remember when I finished the first round, Dede said that I won. I finished the second round and he said I won. The third and fourth rounds, too. He was saying that everything was right. That last round, I knew I had to just keep fighting. Thank God, I was able to do that, and I knew that I had won, so it was that happiness. It wasn’t to disparage Faber, it was a thing of my own, because we’ve been working on this for years. It was a dream come true and that was happiness.
Sherdog.com: Did you manage to sleep that night after the fight?
Barao: Wow, man, I almost didn’t sleep well. I was up the next day to travel, but that’s it. It was a dream come true.
Sherdog.com: Did you sleep next to the belt?
Barao: I slept on the side. I didn’t drop it at all. I want him to stay here a few more years.
Sherdog.com: Were you surprised to hear that Faber had a fractured rib?
Barao: Yeah, I didn’t know that he was hurt, I found out later. Creepy, huh? In fact, we want to win the fight, but we don’t want to hurt the opponent or anything. But, it happened, unfortunately.
Sherdog.com: When are you returning to your city?
Barao: I’m going back Monday to Natal to see my family and friends. I’ve really missed them because I was here in Rio de Janeiro for three months, training for this fight. I’m dying to see my son and spend a few days relaxing.
Sherdog.com: Your next opponent: Dominick Cruz or Michael McDonald?
Barao: I’ll rest, but then I’ll come back to train, help my comrades and wait for the next fight. They’re two tough guys. I’ll be trained and go out to show my best.
Sherdog.com: Do you have a final message?
Barao: First, I want to thank God and all the guys who accompanied me, not only in Brazil, but also worldwide. I’d like to send a kiss to Bairro das Quintas, to Natal, for everyone who supports me. Thanks to everyone who sent me positive energy. I’ll always look for the knockout or submission to thank you. Thank you very much.