Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland. Pic by SHERDOG.COM -click for source- Credit: Dave Mandel

Urijah Faber and Renan Barao are set to square off again at UFC 169 for the undisputed bantamweight championship due to another injury shelving Dominick Cruz. Faber seems to be reborn, but will his third UFC championship fight be any different?

Barao is already a huge favorite and some already see this fight being a loss for Faber. We all know Faber is a warrior and won’t let this fight go without a huge effort. I see the speed and unorthodox kicks of Barao being the end of Faber.

Does Urijah Faber retire if he loses?

Faber has had a lustrous career and has nothing to prove to anybody. The former face of the WEC has done it all besides capturing UFC gold. Will Faber be sitting next to Dan Henderson one day? Is Faber the Dan Marino of the UFC?

Only time will tell. Some of the best have never grabbed the golden ring in the UFC. Faber’s first fight with Barao was a one-sided war. Barao seemed to be too much for the “California Kid.” Faber has definitely improved since their last meeting, but so has Barao. If Faber can’t get over this hurdle, does he hang it up?

Renan Barao’s legacy

Barao has pretty much already cleaned out the UFC bantamweight division besides defeating Cruz. Barao has yet to beat guys like Franciso Rivera, Erick Perez, Takeya Mizugaki, T.J. Dillashaw and Raphael Assuncao. Not taking anything away from those fighters, but I think Barao beats them all, including Faber at UFC 169.

With 32 wins in a row, Barao seems to just get better and better in every fight. Every fighter can be defeated, and I’m sure Barao will meet defeat one day, but I don’t see it at 135 lbs. or anytime soon.

Is Cruz vs. Barao ever going to happen?

Hopefully one day Cruz gets healthy and is able to fight Barao. This is the main fight that needs to happen. Some, including Dana White, have said if Barao beats Faber again he will be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

I’m not going to deny that to an extent, but Barao needs to beat Cruz before he is considered the best at bantamweight in my opinion. By the time Cruz returns (if at all) Barao could have already moved on to bigger and better things. I hope one day soon this fight takes place.

What’s next for Barao, Faber and Cruz?

Faber will do everything is his power to make sure another loss to Barao doesn’t happen at UFC 169. A fighter can win any fight, especially Faber. I just don’t see that happening. I see Barao winning and Faber retiring. Then what’s next for Barao?

He has nothing left to prove besides beating Cruz or having a super fight with fellow friend and training partner Jose Aldo. Neither seem to be happening any time soon. Either way, Barao’s legacy will go down with the best names in all mma, especially with a decisive win at UFC 169.

~Ben McPhee (Follow me on twitter – @mmawriter1)