Outside of Dominick Cruz, Barao doesn’t have a lot of legitimate tests on the horizon against opponents he hasn’t already beaten. Sure, there’s the winner of Urijah Faber-Michael McDonald, but Barao took each man out with relative ease when they rumbled. There’s also Raphael Assuncao-T.J. Dillashaw to consider, but neither seems to have what it takes to end Barao’s insane 31-fight winning streak. Since Barao has said he would fight at 145 pounds if teammate Jose Aldo hadn’t beaten him to the punch, it’s only natural the 26-year old would move up to featherweight once his fellow Brazilian departs for the lightweight division.
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida’s decision to shed some pounds and compete as a middleweight sent ripples through the MMA world, giving fans and media members something new to salivate over. After all, with “The Dragon” being one of the brightest 205ers in the sport, the thought of him mixing it up against similar-sized, highly-skilled opponents is absolutely intriguing. Machida wasn’t the first UFC fighter to move divisions in hopes of finding additional success and he won’t be the last. In fact, expect a few of his notable peers to follow suit in the next twelve months. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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