Round 1: They touch gloves to kick off the main event. Spinning back kick attempt misses from Barao. Barao successfully gets the takedown and lands in side control. McDonald gets back to full guard trying to hold Barao’s arms, nullifying his offense. They get back to their feet. McDonald looks for the left and lands another backing Barao up. McDonald not afraid to exchange here getting the better of the champion thus far, but Barao still looks a threat. Barao’s takedown is stuffed by McDonald. Good combo from McDonald and another to drop Barao who resorts to trying a takedown against the cage. Barao lands a good left and a knee in the clinch. Excellent opening round so far. Barao gets it to the ground and lands in full guard. McDonald once again does brilliantly tying up Barao’s arms, stopping any significant offense. I give round one to Barao, 10-9 (just).
Round 2: They exchange a combo, with McDonald throwing a strong left hand. He then throw his signature right uppercut which Barao blocks. Barao then throws a flamboyant high kick which misses by a mile. Left high kick from Barao is blocked. Barao goes for the single leg takedown but to no avail as they return to the center of the Octagon. Great defense from McDonald. Barao misses with a combination. Looks like an eye poke from Barao as McDonald is given the allotted time to recover. Back under way with less than two minutes to go as they exchange once again. McDonald looks to be getting the better of the stand-up this round. He just misses with another right. Great teep kick from Barao connects. McDonald lands a good leg kick. Barao lands a nice right in the exchange as the round comes to a close. I’ll give this one to McDonald who landed more strikes in the round, 10-9, and 19-19 overall.
Round 3: Another teep attempt from Barao misses this time. McDonald looks for a one-two combo. Barao may have stunned McDonald as he aggressively swarms McDonald who escapes harm. McDonald always looking to counter. Barao charges in with gusto looking for the takedown against the cage and gets it, straight into side control. McDonald though gets it back up to the feet well. Good one-two from McDonald just misses. He ducks looking for the overhand right but Barao evades. A great right hand to the body then head from Barao. High kick from the Brazilian is blocked. McDonald missing with combos this round as opposed to last, Barao figuring him out. Less than a minute to go as Barao lands a beautiful spinning back kick to the chin. Another front teep kick from Barao sees out the round as we go to the championship rounds. Barao takes this one 10-9, and 29-28 overall for me.
Round 4: McDonald in unknown territory of the 4th round now. They smile at each other. Left hook from Barao lands. McDonald lands a sly left as Barao comes in. He stuffs the champion’s takedown attempt. Yet another front kick attempt from Barao. Flying knee from Barao then. Mixing it up nicely, unlike McDonald. Two nice right hands lands from McDonald as they struggle to stay upright. Back to the center Barao stalks down the America, always looking for the teep kick or winding up the spinning back kick. Both barely miss big right cross attempts from one another. Barao holds his opponent against the cage and gets the takedown and eventually his back. He goes for the arm triangle choke but McDonald looks to be ok, defending well. But not well enough as McDonald is forced to tap after Barao adjusts his position on the ground. Renan Barao remains the Interim UFC Bantamweight Champion of the world.
Renan Barao def. Michael McDonald via 4th round Submission (Arm Triangle)