The veterans, Jeremy Stephens (24-12) and Renan Barao (33-3-1) are going to face off at UFC 198. The fight is going to be staged inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both Featherweight warriors need to win in order to reestablish themselves as top ranked fighters. Stephens has lost three times in his four bouts to some big names in the UFC. Likewise Barao suffered at the hands and kicks of T.J. Dillashaw. After the fight he decided to move up the weight category in order to reinvigorate his career, but he needs a strong performance against Stephens to show he is still top dog in UFC.
Keys to Victory
The former bantamweight champion Barao is viewed as one of the best in the world. He is known as a powerful Muay-Thai striker, who is an expert in Jiu-jitsu and Nova Uniao counter-wrestling. On the other hand, Stephens is a power puncher, even though he has lost few important fights lately but he has improved his technique in all areas of him game, which gives him a competitive edge ahead of this fight.
Furthermore, Barao has been visibly shaken after two big losses after staying unbeaten for almost 10 years. The losses affected him physically and mentally. This is where Stephens can take an advantage, if he can manage to put the pressure early on in the fight by sticking and moving against Barao with the aims of confusing him and landing one of his power shots early in the rounds. But Barao is no joke and getting into a slugging competition might not be a good idea, no matter how good your chin is. Stephens needs to be a moving target and switch stances often, perhaps even take a page out of Dillashaw’s book. MMake the once most feared Brazilian on earth uncomfortable with movement and power – then “Lil Heathen” stands a chance against the dangerous Renan Barao.