"Renan Barao is a monster. We have no projected date for his next fight, but he is training like an animal. Today I had to ask him to tone it down a little bit to avoid damage or any other mishap. By him training this hard, it has made him the interim champion. God willing, he will be the unified champion of the UFC. I prefer having to hold a guy back than having to get him at his home to train. -Jair Lourenco via Tatame
Jair Lourenco, head trainer UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, is widely considered to be among the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts coaches in Brazil.
According to Laurenco, Barao is rigorously training for his much anticipated unification bout with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz who is currently rehabbing from an ACL tear.
Cruz (19-1) was preparing for a his rubber match with nemesis Urijah Faber at UFC 148 and the two were also coaching the first edition of "The Ultimate Fighter Live," when Cruz torn his ACL during training.
With Cruz facing a long layoff, the UFC elected to make an interim title while the champion recovered. In stepped the Brazilian sensation, Barao, who came into the interim championship fight with Faber riding a remarkable 29-fight winning streak.
The two faced each other for the title at UFC 149, and right off the bat, Barao came out throwing nasty kicks to Faber legs and mid section. Eventually, one of the powerful kicks broke one of Faber ribs.
An injured Faber held his ground strong for five rounds, but at the end cageside judges awarded a unanimous decision to Barao.
Barao will face Cruz next in order to unify the two titles, but the UFC has yet to announce a date for the highly anticipated scrap.