Returning Renan Barao to Vie for Premier Fighting Championship Title on Nov. 19

By Marcelo Alonso Nov 12, 2021

It appears as though the support of the Pitbull brothers has helped former Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight titleholder Renan Barao rediscover his love for mixed martial arts. Barao will return to the cage to vie for the Premier Fighting Championship featherweight title when he faces Tyson Duckworth on Nov. 19 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“I definitely regained my desire to train and fight with the Pitbull brothers, and now I’m returning in great shape,” said Barao, who arrived in the United States early for a variety of reasons. “There’s a lot of bureaucratic red tape due to the pandemic, so I decided to get here before the fight, not only to avoid possible problems but also to get adapted to the climate and time zone.”

Barao held the UFC bantamweight championship between 2012 and 2014 and was considered one of the Top 5 pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. However, after he surrendered the title to T.J. Dillashaw, the Brazilian went into a downward spiral that saw him lose seven times in nine appearances. After being released by the UFC, he accepted an invitation to train with current Bellator MMA champions Patricio Freire and Patricky Freire in Natal, Brazil.

A professional mixed martial artist since 2005, Barao owns a career record of 34-9. Training with the Pitbull brothers has allowed him to reclaim his passion for the sport and sharpen his skills while living close to his family. He originally signed to return with Brazilian promotion Taura MMA, only to have the event to which he was assigned get canceled. Barao later planned to fight under the German Elite MMA Championship banner, though that too was scuttled. The PFC will give him the opportunity to compete for the first time since November 2019. While Barao has a good relationship with Professional Fighters League Ray Sefo and recently hinted at the possibility of joining the organization in 2022, he has honed in the opportunity at hand.

“I’m 100% focused on Tyson,” he said, “and getting the PFC belt.”
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