CALGARY, Alberta – Brazil's Renan Barao defeated Urijah Faber at UFC 149 on Saturday night, claiming his 19th consecutive victory.
The Brazilian, who outlasted his opponent in the five-round main event, now holds the interim bantamweight title and has put himself in position to take on current titleholder Dominick Cruz. The two were initially scheduled to meet at UFC 148 earlier this month, but Cruz had to to withdraw due to a knee injury.
"I was well prepared," Barao said through an interpreter.
Barao (31-1), who lost his first professional bout back in 2005, ran his unbeaten streak to 32 fights, with one declared a no contest.
In what was billed as the co-main event, middleweight Tim Boetsch earned a split-decision victory over Hector Lombard, who was making his UFC debut.
"I was glad to give him his first loss though I wasn't too thrilled with how things went," Boetsch said. "I landed a few strikes. My foot is a testament to that. Hector is heavy-handed and a tough fighter. He's a power striker but I knew that and was able to put together a good strategy to beat him."
Matthew Riddle kicked off the main card with a submission win over Chris Clements. After Riddle executed a perfect arm triangle, Clements tapped out at 2:02 of the third round.
"I tried to give it all I could but I could hardly breathe," Clements said. "I couldn't catch my breath and it hurt me in the end."
Also on the main card, welterweight James Head won a split decision over Brian Ebersole, while Cheick Kongo earned a unanimous decision over Shawn Jordan in a matchup of heavyweights.
Ryan Jimmo made a spectacular statement with his right fist at the UFC's debut in Calgary, taking just 7 seconds to knock out Anthony Perosh in their light heavyweight preliminary round bout.
The quick KO was just one second off of tying the UFC record held by Duane Ludwig.
"This sport is dog-eat-dog, but you always hope that someone isn't seriously injured," Jimmo said. "This is someone's potential career and you don't want to inflict harm that's going to affect someone's life."
Heading into his UFC debut, Jimmo said he didn't want the fight to last long and he made good on his word. He charged at Perosh and threw a heavy right-hand punch that knocked the Australian fighter on his back.
"I looked across the cage," Jimmo said. "He looked away. I said he was scared and I'm going to hit him."
In the main bout of the preliminary card, Calgary's Nick Ring earned a unanimous decision over Court McGee.
The two middleweights had previously squared off during the 11th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Ring also took that decision but ultimately had to bow out of the reality show after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee.
In other preliminary-round action, Antonio Carvalho scored a TKO victory over Daniel Pineda at the 1:11 mark of the first round of their featherweight fight.
"I guess I do have some fights left in me," said Carvalho, who had thought about quitting leading up to his first-ever UFC victory. "Two weeks ago I thought I was overtraining and I had to stop training for four days. I asked myself if I wanted to do this and if I had fights left in me."
Meanwhile, bantamweight Mitch Gagnon lost by submission in the third round to Bryan Caraway, while Edmonton's Mitch Clarke lost in a split-decision to Anton Kuivanen in their lightweight bout.
Also, Roland Delorme was knocked out by Francisco Rivera at 4:19 of the first round of their bantamweight bout.