Renan Barao says weight cut was “too wearing” at bantamweight: “I was not able to recover 100%”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Renan Barao (photo credit Jason Silva © USA Today Sports)

Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao is moving up to featherweight this May, and understandably the move comes entirely due to weight-cutting concerns.

“The weight cutting was too wearing,” Barao said in an interview with Globo in Brazil (translated via “I was not able to recover 100%. My body felt that a lot.”

Barao had a serious weight-cutting disaster back in August of 2014, passing out during the cut and winding up hospitalized, out of the originally scheduled rematch with T.J. Dillashaw. After a second loss to Dillashaw last July, it was time to quit attempting that cut.

“We have athletes of all sizes here in the gym. I’m cool with [fighting heavier opponents],” he said. “I’ve been working hard and if God allows it, I will get there 100% and give my best.”

Penick’s Analysis: Barao losing twice to Dillashaw doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything regarding how well he can perform at featherweight. He’s an elite competitor, and he might have a run in him at featherweight. There’s some path to defeating him for other opponents, but Dillashaw’s proven to be a great bantamweight fighter in his own right, and Barao could find more success without needing to cut that extra ten pounds.

[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]

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