Chances are not too many people are predicting Mitch Gagnon will defeat Renan Barao at UFC Fight Night 58 tonight, and if they are, would you question their sanity? Yeah, that would be pushing it, but you would want to know why they believe Barao will be handed just his second loss since 2005…
The Nova Uniao fighter put together a 33 fight, undefeated streak for a good reason, and until he ran into TJ Dillashaw, he was making a case for the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighter nod.
Well, one man who sounds pretty confident Gagnon will win, is of course, the bantamweight himself. Gagnon has plenty of reasons to feel good about how his fighting career’s been going, as he’s won four straight fights and scored finishes in three of them. As a result, the Canadian has cracked the top 15 rankings and sits at #14.
While speaking to UFC.com recently, here is some of what Gagnon had to say, in terms of why he believes he can take out the Brazilian star.
“I’m not delusional,” Gagnon said. “You can’t fight a tougher opponent than Barao. He’s top of the food chain. So I know it’s going to be a hard-fought fight, but I really believe in myself that I can pull it off.”
“Barao likes to dictate the fight,” Gagnon said. “He does well in fighting his fight and I just can’t get into that. I’ve got to fight my fight, and do what I’ve been drilling and going over in camp. I’m putting a lot of work in, I’ve studied him, my coaches have studied him and I feel confident I’m gonna come out on top.”
Barao is the favourite for pretty understandable reasons, but Gagnon has definitely demonstrated he can be dangerous, despite the fact his wins haven’t come over top contenders. In other wards, Barao would be unwise to look past Gagnon, but since this fight will go down in Brazil, and because Barao needs to get back on track, chances are he’ll be firing on all cylinders.
We shall see soon enough.
UFC FN 58 will take place in Barueri, Brazil, and in the main event Lyoto Machida will take on fellow middleweight contender, CB Dollaway. The card will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 in the U.S. and on Sportsnet in Canada.