Here is SI.com’s live play-by-play blog for UFC 169: Renan Barao’s first-round TKO of Urijah Faber to retain the bantamweight crown was the highlight match from the UFC 169 card at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Play-by-play and results are listed from main event down.
Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber - TKO (punches) 3:42 R1
Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas – Unanimous Decision (49-46 all)
Alistair Overeem def. Frank Mir – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)
Ali Bagautinov def. John Lineker – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)
Abel Trujillo def. Jamie Varner – KO 2:32 R2
Alan Patrick Silva Alves def. John Makdessi – Unanimous Decision
Chris Cariaso def. Danny Martinez – Unanimous Decision
Nick Catone def. Tom Watson – Split Decision
Al Iaquinta def. Kevin Lee – Unanimous Decision
Clint Hester def. Andy Enz – Unanimous Decision
Rashad Magamedov def. Tony Martin – Unanimous Decision
Neil Magny def. Gasan Umalatov – Unanimous Decision
UFC Bantamweight Championship: Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber
With the injury-ridden Dominick Cruz now out of the picture (for the moment), interim champ Barao (31-1) has taken the throne. Barao is a bit of a slow-starter, but finds his groove (and his opponent’s pace) as the fight goes on. He’s deceivingly dangerous everywhere and already beat Faber via decision in July 2012. Barao is going for his fourth title defense.
Some might take offense to Faber (30-6) getting a title shot tonight – it’s been blatantly obvious in the past that he’s a Zuffa favorite and might not have been completely deserving of the breaks he’s gotten. But in this case, I believe Faber has earned his shot this time. Since his loss to Barao, Faber has looked real good in his last four UFC bouts, including his most recent second-round submission over the younger Michael MacDonald (December.)
R1 - Faber lands first: an outside left low kick. Faber catches Barao kick and slips in a decent punch. Faber looks aggressive. Faber throws a kick and slips to the ground; Barao tries to capitalize, but Faber composes himself. Barao with a left to overhand right. Faber moves in and Barao lands a combo that sends Faber back out. Barao with an outside low kick. Barao with a huge punch and Faber goes down. Faber to his feet and Barao swarms him on fence. Faber clinches for his life and manages to push the mass of men back to center. Barao is relentless, though, and another overhand and Faber goes down again, turtled, Barao punching away. Dean steps in with the stoppage, though Faber objects.
Official Result: Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber - TKO (punches) 3:42 R1
12:32 – Our boys meet center cage, referee Herb Dean flanking them. Of course, they touch gloves.
12:27 – Main event time. A corn-rowed Urijah Faber enters first with his “California” anthem. He’s taking this bout on three weeks’ notice. Lights out and boos fill the arena. Poor Renan Barao.
UFC Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
The UFC is past running out of opponents for Jose Aldo, the Anderson Silva of the featherweight scene before Chris Weidman broke the Spider’s streak. Enter Ricardo Lamas (13-2), coming off a second-round TKO over Eric Koch – Lamas’ fourth straight win in the UFC. Is it a good enough resume for Aldo? Probably not.
Making his sixth title defense and with no obvious challengers in sight, Aldo (23-1) continues to flirt with his promise to move up to the lightweight division, where things will get much more interesting for him. Until then, we get to see if underdog Lamas can usurp a champion whose sheer aggressiveness and power is daunting.
R1 - Lamas with opening low kick; misses a second attempt. Two minutes in with little action. Lamas throwing low kicks, but Aldo defending easy. Aldo has thrown virtually nothing up to this point. Aldo with a spinning back kick but Lamas circles out to avoid. Aldo catches Lamas’ kick, charges in with flying knee and almost nails Lamas with that. He gets in a follow-up shot before Lamas escapes again. Aldo lands body shot. :30 to go. Not much happening to the bell. Aldo 10-9 with effective striking.
R2 - Aldo lands first significant kick about a minute in. Aldo misses with a combo. Lamas again with low kicks, but Aldo has that number. Aldo looks like he’s calculating, waiting for his opening. Aldo with occasional body punch, but not landing. Aldo with a low kick to Lamas’ thigh; and then another. Lamas with a missing wheel kick. Aldo lands another right kick to thigh. 1:00 to go. Aldo with another harsh kick; Lamas’ thigh must be hurting. Bell. Aldo 10-9
R3 - Aldo starting to pick up his pace. Punch to his killer kick. Lamas shoots for single; Aldo defends easy. Lamas must know the end is coming. Aldo’s low kicks are just brutal and they’re all landing on Lamas’ lead leg. Lamas hasn’t given up yet, but his striking attempts aren’t really getting through. Aldo with body shot to another low kick. 1:30 to go. Aldo with body shot – his pace is starting to slow, but he’s still out ahead of Lamas. Bell. Aldo 10-9
R4 - Aldo opens with his low kick. Lamas shoots for double, pushes Aldo to cage, has Aldo off his feet against fence for a few seconds before Aldo finds his footing again. Lamas switches to single leg, but Aldo reverses him on fence. 3:00 to go. Aldo trips Lamas to mat, settles into half guard. Crowd is not impressed with this laboring pace. Aldo slips to mount. Lamas flips to his back, and rear-naked is in. Aldo switches sides and Lamas manages to buck Aldo off. Lamas grabs a single leg, Aldo’s back to fence. :30 to go and it stalls here. Aldo 10-9
R5 - Lamas starts strong with kicks and Aldo pushes him to fence. Aldo with a trip TD into full guard. Lamas’ corner screaming for him to get up. They don’t like how this one is going. Aldo trying to pass guard. Aldo to side and right to mount. We’re parallel with the fence. 3:00 to go. Lamas is trapped. Lamas escapes out the back and Lamas takes top in the scramble that follows. Lamas to his feet and leaps in with punch, Aldo responds by clinching him. Aldo with high guard; 1:30 to go. Lamas misses with an elbow. Lamas trying to rally for a finish, but Aldo’s tying him up for the most part. :30 to go. Lamas can’t get anything through Aldo’s guard to bell. Aldo 10-9
Official Result: Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas – Unanimous Decision (49-46 all)
11:38 – Lamas struts with purpose to the cage. And it’s Aldo’s turn. Pedro Rizzo and Andre Pederneiras in his corner.
11:32 – Overeem tells Rogan he played a conservative game tonight, then calls out Brock Lesnar. I seriously doubt Lesnar has designs to come back to the UFC – just Dana White propaganda talk, in my opinion.
Heavyweight: Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
This is probably the most anticipated fight on the card, even with two title bouts still to go. Former champ Mir (16-8) has had a tough road of late: three straight losses to Junior Dos Santos, Daniel Cormier, and most recently, Josh Barnett, who took Mir out with a quick first-round knee (TKO). Mir is a master on the ground, but the bad news is…
….Alistair Overeem (36-13) comes out like a monster in the first round, trying to bully his opponents to the cage with punches and knees. Beyond the first round, Overeem’s endurance, both physically and mentally, wanes dramatically. Travis Browne and Antonio Silva have exposed these weaknesses in Overeem’s last two bouts, leaving the Holland-based fighter a disappointing 1-2 in the Octagon.
R1 - Overeem with right to body. Mir in with a left-right, they clinch on the fence, but Overeem shrugs it off. Mir lands a quick left. Overeem with an overhand left that lobs Mir’s neck. Overeem clinches, then nails Mir with a big knee to head that sends Mir to his behind and against fence. Overeem pounces, locks up Mir’s arm so he can’t defend. Mir fights to his knees, but Overeem is kneeing his body bad. Mir manages to escape and it’s back to center. 2:00 to go. Mir looks surprisingly OK. Mir swings and misses. Overeem clinches again and Mir drops to guard, trying to grab a leg on the way. No go. Overeem in Mir’s half guard. 1:00 to go. It stalls here to bell. Mir is bleeding slightly from his nose. Overeem 10-9
R2 – Overeem with a dead-on jab. He doesn’t look gassed. New territory for him. Overeem with a left, then throws Mir off him like he did Brett Rogers back in the Strikeforce days. Mir clinches and Overeem reverses him onto fence. Referee separates them quickly. Overeem with combo. Mir bulldozes Overeem to his butt against the fence, locks up the guillotine and flops to his back. Mir loses the hold and is left with Overeem in his half guard. Overeem peppering Mir with big shots to the head. Mir is getting bloody; looks like cuts around his eyes, affecting his vision. Mir recovers guard. 1:15 to go. Overeem is still punching, picking his shots. Mir can only defend. Overeem to his feet, Mir still on his back. Ref makes Mir stand with :13 to go. Bell. Overeem 10-9
R3 – Overeem is looking — dare I say it — pretty fresh. Mir tries to shoot, but Overeem’s girth pushes Mir to his back. Mir has closed guard. Overeem to his feet; Mir asked to stand right away. Again, Mir shoots and Overeem sprawls, then muscles Mir to his back. Mir recovers full guard. Overeem with a big elbow that makes the crowd wince. Mir again forced to defend. He pulls Overeem into him, trying to stop the onslaught. 2:00 to go. Mir’s face getting bloodier and bloodier. Overeem’s pace has slowed, but he just needs to ride this out. Overeem backs out with 1:00 to go and Mir is beckoned to his feet again. Overeem with a nice right hand. Mir is spent. Overeem with a right-left; only lands the right. Bell. Overeem 10-9 (judges might go 10-8 on this one.)
Official Result: Alistair Overeem def. Frank Mir – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)
11:08 – Mir gets the lights-out treatment, enters with Frank Sr. in his corner. Mir’s father has cornered his son for all of his fights. TUF vet James McSweeney is also in Mir’s corner. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
11:05 – Overeem is the first to enter, again with the extroverted entrance, egging on the crowd to get hyped. he gets the first pop from the crowd once he climbs into the cage and makes his entrance lap.
Flyweight: Ali Bagautinov vs. John Lineker
Dagestan’s Bagautinov (12-2) is a mixed bag of talent, with both a Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling background and a gold medal in Combat Sambo (2012). Bagautinov is 2-0 in the Octagon with recent wins over Marcus Vinicius (September) and a unanimous decision over Tim Elliott (December).
Lineker (23-6) rides in on a four-fight win streak, his last victory a first-round KO over Phil Harris. Lineker’s last three wins have come via strikes.
R1 - Lineker takes center, then backs Bag to fence. Bag immediately shoots and lands a clean TD into Lineker’s guard. Lineker trying to land elbows from bottom; Bag posts to one knee and lands a punch here and there. Lineker with butterfly guard. Bag gaining momentum with his punches. Bag to his feet, tries to pass guard, but Lineker grabs the leg and locks in heelhook. Bag answers with heelhook. Lineker lets go and Bag locks another heelhook. Lineker spins out and it’s back to its feet. 1:30 to go. Lineker with body kick that Bag catches and transitions into TD. Bag in half guard, back to punching. Lineker to his side, trying to grab Kimura. Bag is defending it well. Bag out and gets in one more punch before bell. Bag 10-9
R2 - First minute in and little action. Bag shoots and Lineker defends this time. Bag with flying knee that backs Lineker to fence. Lineker lands a right and Bag backs off. Bag with connecting left. 3:00 to go. Bag with right; Lineker with consecutive body shots. Bag with a left, but Lineker answers with a hard shot. He’s the harder puncher, for sure. Bag shoots, takes another punch and shoots again. Stalls there and forced back to his feet. Back to center. 1:00 to go. Bag with left high kick into a TD attempt, but Lineker has the defense timing down and deflects. Quick flurry by both and Bag shoots one more time before bell. Lineker 10-9
R3 – Lineker stalking Bag, who’s become a little tentative of Lineker’s punching power. Bag finally lands his first TD since first round, but Lineker to his feet. Bag holds on and trips Lineker down into half guard; Lineker goes for Kimura again as he’s squeezed against fence. Lets it go. Lineker wall-walks to his feet but Bag wisely stays on him and again gets the TD into half guard. Bag has Lineker trapped on fence. He’s winning his round on those TDS; shutting down Lineker’s punching. Lineker again crawls to his feet. Bag has double hooks in, tries for a throw. No go. Lineker pushes Bag off and throws a front kick that doesn’t land. 1:00 to go. Bag with nice uppercut into a TD that Lineker almost stuffs, but Bag completes it. Bag with some big punches from standing. Lineker grabs a leg, Bag standing and Russian plays it up to crowd, showing thumbs up, then thumbs down to Lineker to get reaction from crowd at bell. Bag 10-9
Official Result: Ali Bagautinov def. John Lineker – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)
10:34 – Bag skips to the cage, looking confident. John Lineker slowly trudges to Octagon. Rogan reminds us that Lineker has missed weight three times in a row, including yesterday. Rogan says Lineker “looked like death.” Maybe it’s time to consider the bantamweight division, no? Rogan with another zinger: “Get Mike Dolce on the bat phone.” LOL. Lineker has his nails cut cageside. First time I’ve seen that. Keith Peterson is our referee.
10:30 – UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones flashes across our screen.
10:28 - In his post-fight with Rogan, Trujillo says he was hurting like “a mother.”
Lightweight: Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo
Varner (21-8-1, 2 NC) has been off and on since his stunning Octagon return against Edson Barbosa in May 2012. The gunning lightweight is coming off two defeats in three UFC appearances, including a split-decision loss to Gleison Tibau (August).
Trujillo (11-5, 1 NC) avenged a no contest against Roger Bowling last August by taking him out with a second-round TKO in December. Varner is a big step up for Trujillo, who will probably struggle with Varner’s superior pace.
R1 – Varner takes center cage. Varner with the first connecting combo. Trujillo tries to push Varner with exchange, but Varner circles out. Trujillo leans forward with combo, misses. Varner lands counter. Trujillo comes forward with combo, ducks Varner swing and lands. They start to swing for fences. Trujillo clinches and goes for throw. Varner maneuvers on top; takes Trujillo’s back, but doesn’t have hooks in. Varner transitions to North-South choke (neither of Trujillo’s arms in); Varner squeezing hard. Trujillo hanging in there; Varner splayed, pushing his hips into canvas. Varner tries to transition to mount and loses hold. Trujillo to his feet and they’re exchanging in a frenzy, both landing. Things calm down with :30 left. Trujillo pushes in with more punches, clinches, and lands a body knee right at bell. Varner 10-9
R2 – More tentative start, both feeling each other out. Varner lands a counter and Trujillo wobbles, but fights back with wild swings. Varner corners Trujillo on fence, swinging away. Trujillo drops levels to his knees, turtled. Varner hammerfisting, trying to finish. Back to its feet, but Trujillo is waning on the fence, gassed. Varner punching away. Trujillo manages himself off the fence and lands a right punch, knocking Varner out. Insane fight and finish!
Official Result: Abel Trujillo def. Jamie Varner – KO 2:32 R2
10:11 – Trujillo enters the arena.
10:06 — Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan are setting up our championship co-main events.