February 14, 2013

A few words with... Renan Barao and Cub Swanson

By Roy Billington

Renan Barao expects a war with Michael McDonald, and also discussed his plans if he emerges victorious. Cub Swanson talked about all things UFC on Fuel 7, Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis, and a return to 155 pounds, and even called out Nate Diaz.

I recently met with UFC Interim Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao to talk all things UFC on FUEL 7 and about how his life has changed since winning the belt.

I asked him how his life has changed since winning the title, and he replied, "Yeah it changed a lot, I’m more recognised being champion. It’s changed a lot of things with the sponsors. Now I have a lot more money to help my family and to train, and this is really great for me."

Bringing up his previous fight against Brad Pickett at UFC 138 in Birmingham, I asked about how little recognition or support he received from the fans back then, and whether, upon his return to the UK this time, fans recognise you? His answer was, "Yeah yeah, it’s changed a lot. People are asking for photos and autographs; it’s changed, yes."

Referencing the fight with Michael McDonald directly, I asked him how he saw it going. His response was, "I just see getting out of the Octagon with the victory one more time, but I see a great fight and a big war. He’s a tough guy but I’m ready, I’m ready to fight."

Dominick Cruz also came up. I asked him whether, if he emerged victorious and Cruz was unable to fight for a long time, he would defend his belt, or wait out for a fight with Cruz. He replied, "I want to fight him. But if the UFC wants me to fight again for the interim belt I will fight again for the interim belt."

For the full interview make sure to listen to the attached audio.


I also met with Team Jackson star Cub Swanson. I asked him whether it frustrated him that Anthony Pettis was given an immediate title shot, and he replied, "Ummm, not frustrated, you know, it is what it is. Just the popular fighters seem to get the title shots."

Based on an interview that I read which mentioned that Swanson was considering to returning to 155, I asked him to elaborate, and this was his answer: "Right now I walk around at about 185 pounds, and there’s a few fights that really interest me. You know a lot of people are probably going to say I’m stupid, but I’d really like to fight Nate Diaz. I feel my striking is good -- he’s tall and lanky, and I always do good against tall and lanky guys. No disrespect to the guy, but it feels like a fun fight."

For the full interview make sure to listen to the attached audio.


UFC on FUEL TV 7: Barao vs. McDonald is due to take place on February 16, 2013 at Wembley Arena in London, UK.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC on FUEL TV 7 will be.

Click here for more UFC on Fuel 7 interviews, breakdowns and previews.

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