The UFC 143 event will feature a bantamweight fight between up and comer Renan Barao and top ten fighter Scot Jorgensen which will place this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s a very important fight for the division as the current champion Dominick Cruz is lacking a large number of quality contenders. In fact, he’s already beaten Scott Jorgensen and did so fairly easily back at WEC 53. A win for Barao means there’s a new contender in the mix that could potentially fight the winner of the Dominick Cruz/Urijah Faber fight later this year. Let’s see how this fight shakes out.
Renan Barao comes into this fight with a career record of (27-1, 1NC) and 13 wins via submission with six wins via TKO/KO. He was last seen in action submitting Brad Pickett in the very first round back at UFC 138 after hurting him with strikes on the feet. Barao has won 27 straight fights since losing his pro debut back in 2005, and is (4-0) in WEC/UFC stint at the moment. He’s an explosive striker while also being well versed on the ground.
Scott Jorgensencomes into this fight with a career record of (13-4) and four wins via submission and two wins via TKO/KO. Jorgensen was last seen in action winning a unanimous decision against Jeff Curran at UFC 137. Jorgensen has won seven of his last eight fights with the lone loss coming against Dominick Cruz as I mentioned earlier. Jorgensen has a wrestling background but is versed in submissions while being a competent striker as well.
Barao is the favorite at (-250) and Jorgensen is the underdog at (+200).
I think Barao is an outstanding talent, but Jorgensen probably represents his toughest test to date. I’m not sure that Barao should be this big of a favorite in this fight, but I do think he should be favored slightly.
Jorgensen will need to successfully blend his striking and wrestling if he’s to win this fight. He’ll be giving up four inches in reach against Barao who is considered the better striker. If he’s not able to take Barao down he could be in trouble, and it should be noted that Barao has outstanding takedown defense. Also, Barao is comfortable on the ground as he has won the majority of his fights via submission. Jorgensen will need to put the pressure on from the outset and put Barao against the cage scoring with dirty boxing and possibly takedowns from that position.
Barao will need to keep the fight standing or take Jorgensen down and work his magic on the ground. The good thing about Barao is that he looks to advance to dominant positions while on the ground and go for the finish. He can’t allow Jorgensen to take him down as Jorgensen has very good top control and has only been submitted once in his career which took place in his third professional fight. Jorgensen’s last fight against Jeff Curran is a prime example of what Jorgensen likes to do on the ground. If Barao can keep the fight standing he should be able to out strike Jorgensen. Jorgensen’s never been stopped via TKO/KO, so Barao most likely wins this fight via decision.