Barao earns nod, claims interim title

Updated: July 23, 2012, 9:27 AM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

Bigger, stronger, faster, longer: Renan Barao used every one of his physical advantages Saturday night in Calgary, Alberta, to claim the UFC interim bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over Urijah Faber.

The judges scored it 49-46, 50-45, 49-46 for Barao. ESPN.com scored the fight for Barao 49-46.

With the win, Barao improves to 29-1 and one no contest. He has not lost a fight since making his mixed martial arts debut in April 2005.

Barao punished Faber with kicks to the left leg throughout the five-round title fight at Scotiabank Saddledome. It was the same strike his stablemate, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, successfully used against Faber in their title bout in April 2010.

"I came very well prepared for everything," Barao said. "I knew Faber was a great fighter, but I was prepared."

In the fourth, Faber began showing the impact of those kicks to his leg. He was moving less on his feet and his punches had lost much of their steam.

[+] EnlargeRenan Barao vs.Urijah Faber
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comA sharper, more agile Renan Barao had little trouble finding his mark on Urijah Faber.
Faber continued to attempt takedowns but Barao had no difficulty stuffing them.

"I knew he was really good at keeping distance," said Faber, who falls to 26-6. "He has really long punches and was able to throw his kicks from really far out.

"He was a little more difficult to get in on for takedowns."

Before the fight, Barao said he would immediately turn his attention to a unification bout with current 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

Lombard's 25-fight win streak ends in UFC debut

Middleweight Hector Lombard made his highly anticipated UFC debut against Tim Boetsch, but he looked nothing like the man who put on many exciting fights as Bellator champion.

[+] EnlargeTim Boetsch
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comFailure to launch: Hector Lombard, left, fell flat in his Octagon debut.

Lombard entered the cage on a 25-fight win streak. But that's over now as Boetsch came away with a split decision.

Two judges favored Boetsch 29-28; the third had it for Lombard 29-28. ESPN.com had Boetsch winning 29-28.

The usually aggressive Lombard never got things going against Boetsch. The two men spent a majority of the fight standing in front of one another, sparingly throwing strikes.

Most of the strikes from Boetsch were kicks to the legs. He also avoided several wild-swinging left hands from Lombard, who falls to 31-3-1 with one no contest.

There had been talk of Lombard possibly landing a title shot against UFC champion Anderson Silva with a victory over Boetsch. But those talks quelled immediately after his first loss since Nov. 5, 2006, to Gegard Mousasi.

Boetsch improves to 16-4. The former light heavyweight is 4-0 in 185-pound competition.

Experienced Kongo takes Jordan to school

Expectations are high for heavyweight Shawn Jordan, but he'll need more time to realize them as veteran Cheick Kongo proved en route to a unanimous decision victory.

[+] EnlargeCheick Kongo
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comCheick Kongo's experience helped him thwart off Shawn Jordan's offense.

Two judges scored it 30-27, while the third had it 30-28. ESPN.com favored Kongo 30-27.

Kongo used his superior cage experience to control Jordan throughout the fight, especially against the cage. He also landed a few hard right hands in the limited time the fighters had space between them.

Jordan tried repeatedly to take Kongo down, but the veteran never gave him the leverage to succeed.

It wasn't an exciting fight. The crowd booed midway through the first until the final horn.

Kongo improves to 18-7-2. Jordan drops to 13-4.

Head hands Ebersole first Octagon loss

Welterweight Brian Ebersole attempting takedown after takedown and James Head continuously stuffed them en route to a split decision victory.

[+] EnlargeJames Head
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comJames Head, left, managed to frustrate Brian Ebersole over three rounds for a split decision.

Two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Head, while the third had Ebersole winning 29-28. ESPN.com gave the edge to Head 29-28.

Ebersole suffers the first loss of his UFC career. He slips to 54-15-1 with one no contest -- his record inside the Octagon is 4-1.

The physically larger Head had little difficulty stuffing Ebersole's take-down attempts. Part of the reason was Ebersole failed to properly set up his takedowns.

Head landed several solid punches and kicks in the standup. He also attempted a few submissions, but Ebersole easily escaped each time.

Ebersole has hinted at moving to lightweight. Head, a former middleweight, improves to 2-0 at 170 pounds. He is 9-2 overall.

Riddle bangs with Clements, then submits him

Welterweight Matt Riddle was willing to stand and trade strikes with the hard-hitting Chris Clements, but used his superior grappling to finish the fight at 2:02 of the third round.

[+] EnlargeMatthew Riddle
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comMatthew Riddle's mix of attacks never allowed Chris Clements to find his flow.

While standing, Riddle (7-3) held his own against Clements. He landed a hard liver kick in the opening round that hurt Clements, but referee Josh Rosenthal thought the kick was low and gave Clements time to recover.

Clements would land several hard strikes in the bout, but whenever Riddle sense trouble he took the fight to the ground. Riddle applied a standing arm triangle in the third round then took it to the ground, where Clements tapped.

"I knew Chris wanted to bang, but I went back to my roots [grappling]," Riddle said. "I wanted get this crowd on its feet."

Clements falls to 11-5. His win streak ends at five.

Ring edges McGee for the second time

In a rematch that dates back to their days on "The Ultimate Fighter," middleweight Court McGee was unable to exact revenge on Nick Ring after coming out on the short end of a unanimous decision.

[+] EnlargeNick Ring
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comCanada's own Nick Ring, left, did just enough to earn a decision over Court McGee.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Ring, who improves to 13-1. ESPN.com also had Ring winning 29-28 in a closely contested fight.

McGee stalked Ring throughout the three-round bout. He landed several left-right combinations, but often ate hard right hooks and straight left hands in return.

Ring connected with a hard left in the second that cause blood to flow heavily from McGee's nose.

McGee (13-3) went after Ring relentlessly in the third round, landing several punch combinations and a handful of knees. He seemed to hurt an exhausted Ring, but could not finish him.

Ring defeated McGee in a Season 11 bout on TUF, but he was forced to drop out of the competition due to a knee injury. McGee replaced him and went on to win the tournament title.

Rivera honors his mom with first-round knockout

Bantamweight Francisco Rivera delivered a counter left hook to knockout Roland Delorme at 4:19 of the first round.

[+] EnlargeFrancisco Rivera
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comFrancisco Rivera, top, took out Roland Delorme in a round, then dedicated the win to his mother.

"My mom has been sick, and this is the way to show her that I fight for her," Rivera said. "I love her."

Rivera controlled the action with his precision striking. He landed stiff left jabs, right uppercuts and hard kicks that kept Delorme struggling to mount a counter attack.

Solid footwork and head movement from Rivera made it impossible for Delorme to attempt a takedown. Delorme was relegated to concentrating on defense.

And for most of the opening round, Delorme was unable to slow Rivera's attack.

Rivera improves to 9-2. Delorme slips to 8-2.

Jimmo knocks out Perosh in record 7 seconds

Knockouts don't come much quicker than the one light heavyweight Ryan Jimmo registered against Anthony Perosh.

[+] EnlargeRyan Jimmo
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comRyan Jimmo needed two punches and seven seconds to take out Anthony Perosh.

Jimmo walked toward Perosh immediately after the horn sounded and threw an overhand right that landed on Perosh's chin.

Perosh fell to the canvas and Jimmo landed one more punch before referee Josh Rosenthal intervened and stopped the fight.

The knockout came seven seconds into the bout, which UFC officials say equals the fastest in the promotion's history. Duane Ludwig set the record on Jan. 16, 2006, when he stopped Jonathan Goulet in a welterweight bout.

"I'm very happy," said Jimmo, who improves to 17-1. "I knew if I threw some heavy leather he'd be on the wrong end of it."

Perosh falls to 13-7.

Caraway wins ground battle, submits Gagnon in third

[+] EnlargeBryan Caraway
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comBryan Caraway, took control of matters in Round 2 before submitting Mitch Gagnon in the third.

Bryan Caraway extended his win streak to three with a third-round submission of fellow bantamweight Mitch Gagnon.

The rear-naked choke came at the 1:39 mark. Caraway improves to 17-5, with 15 of his wins coming by submission.

Gagnon, who was making his UFC debut, started strong and controlled most of the opening round on the ground.

But the muscular Gagnon seemed to lose much of his energy in the second, and the fresher Caraway took advantage. Caraway began dominating on the ground midway through the round.

He would take that momentum into the third round, getting Gagnon's back and eventually submitting him.

Gagnon falls to 8-2. His win streak ends at six.