Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and right now that crown sits atop Renan Barao. Not too long ago, he was but an interim champ and the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 169 in Newark, N.J. But fortunes change quickly in MMA, and now he’s the UFC’s full-fledged bantamweight king, and has top billing opposite challenger Urijah Faber. FightLine caught up with the Brazilian at the media day in Madison Square Garden, and with the help of a translator, got his insight on a variety of topics.
What does the undefeated fighter want his legacy to be?
“I want my legacy to be… I’ve been working so hard for this for all this time, and if I keep winning like this probably I’ll have a good legacy to bring to everybody. Then, when I retire, I can have my own fighters practicing and coming to the UFC, and I’ll be able to follow them. But that’s what I want, I want to have a legacy, I want to be remembered by my fights.”
Would Barao consider moving up to featherweight?
“This is something that can happen, but we are not thinking about that right now. That is something my head coach, Andre Pederneiras, will decide someday. I’m not focused on that right now. Maybe someday.”
Who’s the toughest opponent he’s ever fought?
“In the UFC we have the best fighters in the world, so I can say that all the guys that I’ve fought before, they are very, very tough. I cannot say one name.”
Barao hasn’t fought a fellow Brazilian since 2010. Would he fight one?
“I would not like to, but this is something that the UFC has to decide, and if they decide I have to fight a Brazilian this is something I will do.”