CALGARY, CANADA - Urijah Faber spent five rounds trying to close the distance against a longer and faster Renan Barao Saturday night, losing the interim bantamweight championship by unanimous decision at UFC 149.
"I'm pretty frustrated. It was a tough fight," Faber told News10 after the bout. "I think he broke my rib in the 1st or 2nd round. He was keeping me at bay. I didn't feel like I was in range for takedowns. His striking was long and rangy. I was trying to get it in there but he was the better guy tonight."
The sometimes flashy and athletic Barao used his length to his advantage. The Brazilian's spinning high back heel kick landed a handful of times, and he hammered Faber's left leg with low kicks, countering and moving everytime the "California Kid" tried to attack.
"It is what lost me the fight," Faber said. "I had to get a creative way to get in and wasn't finding my way in that was the difference."
The victory gives Barao (31-1-1) extends his winning streak to 19, and 31 straight fights without a loss (one no contest in 2007). He will next face Dominick Cruz to unify the UFC Bantamweight Title, who had to drop out of the fight against Faber because of an injured knee.
For Faber (32-6), the future remains uncertain. After holding the WEC Featherweight belt for more than two and half years, he is (0-5) in his last five championship fights losing to Mike Brown twice, Jose Aldo, Cruz and now Barao.
"It it is something I need to decide for myself," the 33-year old Faber said when asked about the future. "If I want to do it I can definitely put a run together and make it happen. I'm going to heal up now and take it from there."