By: Matt Marcone
Seven fights were refurbished due to the injury bug at UFC 149 in Calgary and the results were not pretty.
“We broke the gate record here tonight and I’m embarrassed by it,” says UFC President Dana White. “The undercard delivered, they were awesome. The main card did not.”
The main event saw Renan Barao capture the interim bantamweight championship after outpointing Urijah Faber for five straight rounds. It was a highly technical fight that was plagued by boos and chants of “refund.”
A crushing knee in the first broke Faber’s ribs, successfully shutting down most of his offense the rest of the night. Barao now faces 135-pound kingpin Dominick Cruz as soon as he recovers from last month’s ACL surgery.
The co-main event truly disappointed as Hector Lombard’s 24-fight winning streak came to an end at the hands of Tim Boetsch. It may have been a case of octagon jitters, but Boetsch managed to take a split decision over a guy many thought could be Anderson Silva’s next challenger.
“It’s the unfortunate thing about hype,” says White. “When there’s a lot of hype behind you and you don’t live up to it, it goes away pretty quick.”
Boetsch is now 4-0 at middleweight and a serious contender, having previously finished Yushin Okami. Vegas odds makers called Boetsch a 4-1 underdog and his accomplishment should not go unnoticed, considering he broke his foot in the second round.
In perhaps the biggest snooze fest of the night, heavyweight Cheick Kongo shut down Shawn Jordan by pressing him against the cage for three full rounds. The only highlight was an inside elbow that caught Kongo’s groin in round one.
Written By Jordan Maskell
The first UFC event in Calgary, Alberta, Canada will happen this Saturday night. The event, scheduled to take place at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, will be headlined by an Interim Bantamweight title bout between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao. A slew of injuries has plagued the July 21st event, with names including Michael Bisping, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria, and Thiago Alves having to be pulled, and the card being rescheduled multiple times.
The third fight between Faber and current Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, originally set for UFC 148, was moved to the card until Cruz had to withdraw as well due to a knee injury. Therefore an interim belt was created. Faber is coming off a “submission of the night” win over Brian Bowles at UFC 139, while Barao has had 29 fights without a loss.
UFC 149 will also feature the promotional debut of Middleweight Hector Lombard. Lombard is currently on a 20-fight win streak since drawing with Kyle Noke in 2007. The former Bellator, CFC, and AFC Middleweight champion will face Tim Boetsch, who’s original opponent Bisping, had to withdraw due to injury. Many consider Lombard to be a legitimate contender for Anderson Silva’s Middleweight title and see this bout as a title eliminator. Boetsch is on a three-fight win streak himself, getting a come-from-behind third round TKO victory over Yushin Okami at UFC 144.