Call it timely marketing, or call it telling the truth. Whichever you prefer, UFC president Dana White is sticking by his words.
During a recent media scrum, White continued his quest to disagree with his “official” UFC rankings, pegging Renan Barao in the No. 2 slot behind Jon Jones in the pound-for-pound Top-15.
Barao defends his bantamweight title next Saturday on pay-per-view against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173. The Brazilian is currently third on the list behind Jones and featherweight champion – and teammate – Jose Aldo.
“I still go back-and-forth with the Jon and Renan thing,” White said. “I still, without a doubt, think Renan is No. 2.
“He goes in there and no matter who he faces, he goes in there to finish them. I love guys that go in to annihilate people and that’s what he does.”
Barao (32-1) hasn’t lost since his pro debut in 2005. Since joining the UFC, he has stopped the likes of Urijah Faber, Michael McDonald, Eddie Wineland and Brad Pickett, amassing a total of 22 stoppage wins in his career.
Jones is coming off a decision victory over Glover Teixeira and has previously bested former UFC champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida, along with Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson.
“After Jones’ last performance (in which) he looked so good….and he just buzz-sawed through all the big names at 205,” White said. “(But) before that, I was calling Barao the No. 1 pound-for-pound (fighter). He is without a doubt No. 2 in the world.”
Dillashaw (9-2) is coming off a decision victory over Mike Easton in January and has gone 5-2 inside the Octagon.