Barao not feeling the pressure
Renan Barao insists he is not feeling the pressure ahead of his Interim UFC Bantamweight title defence against Michael McDonald.
By Jack Woodfield - Twitter: @JWoodfield365
Last Updated: 22/01/13 11:30pm
Renan Barao insists he is not feeling the pressure as he prepares to defend the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship against Michael McDonald.
Barao and McDonald will square off at Wembley Arena on February 16, with the Brazilian looking to continue his remarkable unbeaten run which stretches back to 2005.
It has been 30 fights since Barao last lost a mixed martial arts bout, and the interim title holder claims this streak will only inspire him when he faces McDonald in London.
"There really is no pressure at all," Barao told skysports.com. "All the time I've been undefeated on this journey has been down to a lot of hard work.
"I have been battling for years and I rarely stop training. I believe in my ability inside the Octagon and this is why I am confident."
Barao's opponent, McDonald, is fresh off two consecutive KO wins, and is entering the fight without defeat since 2009.
Despite the knockout power of "Mayday", Barao believes he can avoid McDonald's striking ability, and is confident he will contest the fight in the manner that he chooses.
"I can definitely avoid his power. I don't feel like I am going to have to dictate the fight around McDonald, or any other guy that I face.
"I've got to keep working on my skills and try to get better with every fight."
With incumbent UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz sidelined after undergoing a second surgery on his ACL in December, Barao has been left frustrated in his efforts to be crowned undisputed champion of the weight division.
Cruz is set to be sidelined for another six to nine months, but Barao is remaining patient as he awaits the champion's recovery, insisting that for now he is merely taking things one fight at a time.
"I'm ok with it (waiting for Cruz)," said Barao. "I work for the UFC and if I have to fight him I will or whoever else they want to me fight.
"I want to be judged on my work and keep getting better. I've fought so hard to get to where I am and right now I feel like I am the true champion."