A bantamweight bout featuring former division kingpin Renan Barao taking on promotional newcomer Andre Ewell took place at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 137 event in Sao Paulo.
Renan Barao (34-6 MMA) entered tonight’s contest having lost four of his past five fights. Prior to that Barao was on an amazing hot streak that saw him go 20-1.
Round one begins and Barao starts things off with a head kick that is partially blocked. The fighters exchange low kicks. Barao looks to come forward but gets countered with a shot and hits the canvas. He immediately attempts to scramble up to his feet but Andre is all over him. Barao immediately looks to tie up Ewell from guard. He ends up scoring a sweep and takes top position. The former champion begins raining down punches. Ewell tries to escape but gets trapped up against the cage. Barao with punches and elbows now. He is aggressively looking for the finish here. Ewell scrambles off the fence but he’s still on the bottom. Barao moves to full mount and then rolls for an armbar. It looks deep. Somehow Ewell is able to survive the submission attempt. He gets back to his feet but Barao drags him right back down to the canvas. Round one comes to an end.
Round two begins and Ewell comes forward with a nice combination. Barao misses with a front kick to the body. Andre with a nice jab. He is pressing the pace early in round two. Barao with an inside low kick. Ewell returns fire with a leaping left that lands flush. Another good straight punch from Ewell. Barao would be well served to try and get this fight back to the floor. Renan lands a nice inside low kick. Ewell goes to the body of Renan Barao with a left hook. The Brazilian moves forward and is able to score a trip takedowon. Barao begins working from half guard. He lands some shots to body of Ewell. Barao with a short elbow and then some soft punches to end round two.
Round three begins and Barao misses with a right jab. Ewell responds with a shot to the body. He looks for a low kick but misses the mark. Barao fires off a leg kick of his own that lands flush. Ewell circles and then returns fire with a straight left that lands. Another left from Andre finds a home on the chin of the former champion. Renan Barao comes forward and lands a body kick. He needs to do more of that. Instead he eats another straight left hand from Ewell. Andre comes forward but Barao counters nicely with a left hand and then a right hook behind it. Barao comes forward with pressure. Ewell side steps and then throws a flying knee that just misses catching the Brazilian. Renan Barao eats a left hand and staggers back. He is in trouble. Ewell senses it and comes forward with a flurry. Barao is able to circle off the cage but his leg still look weak. Nonetheless he steps in and lands a left hook. Ewell with a front kick that lands. He follows that up with another straight left. Renan Barao is bleeding now. Ten seconds remain in the final round. Ewell charges in with a flurry. The fighters stand and trade to end the fight.
Andre Ewell def Renan Barao via split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)