The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight title was on the line when Renan Barao faced Urijah Faber in the main event at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Faber came in to the fight like a man possessed with an impressive win streak and surging momentum. All was set for an epic return to championship gold. Although taking the fight on short notice under Duane “Bang” Ludwig’s instruction, Faber seemed ready.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough as he again lost a shot at gold. Barao quickly began peppering the former WEC champion with shots in the first round of the fight and, although Faber put up an impressive fight, it quickly came to an end. Barao was able to hurt Faber and force him to cover up and at that point referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight.
Herb Dean, known as probably the best referee in all of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) , is not without his faults. At the time of Faber’s cover up, he had shown Dean the “thumbs up” and was heard saying, “I’m okay”. Just before making a move to get up and continue the fight referee, Dean, called a stop to the fight.
Faber has since vocalized his disagreement with the call but in true champion form accepts the decision. That being said he also looks forward to the challenge of climbing back up the ladder. The MMA world is not without it’s questionable calls. They are mainly from the judges of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). Even UFC President Dana White voiced his disappointment with the stoppage of the fight by saying, “Dean rarely makes a mistake, but tonight he just blew it.”
This leaves us to wonder who is next for the championship? The still injured and former champion, Dominick Cruz, is on the front of everyone’s mind. Though no timetable has been set for Cruz’s return, it is eagerly awaited.