His interim bantamweight championship on the line, Barao checked in at 134 pounds for his five-round clash with McDonald (134) in the UFC on Fuel TV 7 headliner on Saturday at Wembley Arena in London. The 10 other fighters committed to duty on the main card, including featherweight co-headliners Cub Swanson (146) and Dustin Poirier (145), also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC on Fuel TV 7 Free Fan Pick’Em
Barao has recorded 19 consecutive wins since his December 2007 encounter with Claudemir Souza resulted in a no contest. The 25-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt captured the interim crown -- reigning 135-pound titleholder Dominick Cruz remains sidelined with a knee injury -- with a unanimous decision over former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Urijah Faber at UFC 149 in July. Anchored at the famed Nova Uniao camp, “Barao” has secured 19 of his 29 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. He has compiled a perfect 4-0 mark since joining the UFC as part of the WEC merger in May 2011.
McDonald will carry an eight-fight winning streak into the cage. The 22-year-old Last Stand Fight Team representative last appeared at UFC 145 in April, when he picked off onetime WEC titleholder Miguel Torres at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Now 4-0 inside the Octagon, McDonald avenged his only career setback in 2010, when he put away Cole Escovedo with second-round punches under the Tachi Palace Fights banner in his native California. He has delivered more than half (nine) of his 15 professional wins by knockout or technical knockout.
UFC on Fuel TV 7 “Barao vs. McDonald” -- which airs live on Fuel TV at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT -- also features two light heavyweight duels, as Jimi Manuwa (204) locks horns with Cyrille Diabate (206) and James Te Huna (205) confronts Ryan Jimmo (205), along with a pair of welterweight tilts, as Gunnar Nelson (169) meets Jorge Santiago (170) and Matt Riddle (170) toes the line against Che Mills (170).
Three hours prior, the six preliminary bouts will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page: Terry Etim (155) vs. Renee Forte (156), Paul Sass (156) vs. Danny Castillo (156), Andy Ogle (145) vs. Josh Grispi (144), Tom Watson (185) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (185), Vaughan Lee (134) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135) and Ulysses Gomez (126) vs. Phil Harris (125).
UFC on Fuel TV 7 Weigh-In Results:Renan Barao (134) vs. Michael McDonald (134)
Cub Swanson (146) vs. Dustin Poirier (145)
Jimi Manuwa (204) vs. Cyrille Diabate (206)
Gunnar Nelson (169) vs. Jorge Santiago (170)
James Te Huna (205) vs. Ryan Jimmo (205)
Matt Riddle (170) vs. Che Mills (170)
Terry Etim (155) vs. Renee Forte (156)
Paul Sass (156) vs. Danny Castillo (156)
Andy Ogle (145) vs. Josh Grispi (144)
Tom Watson (185) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (185)
Vaughan Lee (134) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135)
Ulysses Gomez (126) vs. Phil Harris (125)