Luke Sanders Just Pounded Renan Barao’s Face Into The Canvas

Luke Sanders Just Pounded Renan Barao’s Face Into The Canvas

After a successful debut card on ESPN earlier in the month, the UFC has backed it up with another big headline main event tonight with a fight between two heavyweight contenders – Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez.

Headlining the early prelims today was a fight between Renan Barao and Luke Sanders.

One of the more experienced fighters on the card tonight, Barao, was looking to overcome a three fight losing streak, having lost six of his last eight bouts.

The former bantamweight champion held a 32-1 record at his peak, but after two losses to current champion TJ Dillashaw and then Jeremy Stephens, he has looked a shadow of his former self.

Sanders on the other hand, was looking for a win over the former UFC champion to help him crack into the top 10 bantamweights.

Confident as ever, Barao took the centre of the cage early on, looking relaxed and attacking from range. Sanders did his best to move in and out of range, but Barao was landing kicks to the body and head which were putting him off.

Sanders tried to close the gap and get the clinch, but Barao looked confident to pull free and continue from range. Late in the first round, Barao landed a big right which stunned his oponent, but he was able to shake it off and see out the round.

Sanders upped the anti in the second, coming out more aggressive. On the front foot, he was landing punches. He then faked a takedown which created space for a big left, stunning the former champ. He followed up with another big left which dropped his opponent. Sanders then hopped on top and delivered the final blows on the floor finishing the fight in the second round.

“This was an opportunity that only comes around once in a while; he’s a legend,” Sanders said after the win. “To be able to fight a legend and, at one time, a pound-for-pound king, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

“I came fully prepared and that’s exactly the outcome I was looking to have. I’m really grateful and glad that I pushed through the long road to get here. This camp was very hard, and there were a couple of times that I didn’t think I would make it here.”

See the devastating finish here: