Newark, NJ, United States (4E Sports) – Renan Barao (32-1) defended his UFC bantamweight title for the first time Saturday with a first-round TKO over Urijah Faber (30-6) at UFC 169 at the Prudential Center.
The electric performance by the champion was partially marred by a premature stoppage byreferee Herb Dean that came just 3:42 into their title fight.
As Faber popped to his feet after being knocked down with a straight right hand, Barao kept up the pressure staggering him with a left hook and then dropping him with an overhand right.
The challenger then tied up Barao’s right leg from a turtled position and appeared to do a good job of blocking.
He gave a “thumbs up” but Dean moved in to stop the fight.
“You get caught with punches, man. He told me to do something, so I gave him a thumbs up. Herb is a great referee, but I wish I had more of a chance,” said Faber.
Barao admitted he was “a little bit” surprised by the stoppage.
It marks the third time Faber has been stopped in his career and his third failed bid for a UFC title.