Renan Barao Pegado - Resilient MMA Fighter

Renan Barao Pegado - Resilient MMA Fighter

1. Renan Barao’s Details

Name Renan Mota do Nascimento Pegado
Nickname The Baron
Born in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Date of Birth January 31, 1987
Nationality Brazilian
Last Fight October 07, 2023, in FC
Last Weigh-In 146.0 lbs
Weight 145.0 lbs
Height 5'6" (168 cm)
Reach 70 in
Weight Class Peso Leve (76 kg/167 lbs)
College/University Kimura Nova União ( Sports school)
Career: MMA Fighter
Earnings: $635,000
Net Worth: $635,000
Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Favourite Play Technique Triangle
Foundational Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Rank Black Belt
Awarded by Andre Pederneiras
Head Coach Andre Pederneiras
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie -> Carlson Gracie -> Andre Pederneiras -> Renan Barão
Team/Association Kimura/Nova Uniao

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2. Renan Barao’s Biography

"I could feel the adrenaline, and I knew this is what I wanted for my life,"

(Renan Barao Pegado)

Renan Barao Pegado went to attend the Kimura Nova Uniao Sports School in Natal to become a professional MMA fighter. In 2005, he stepped into the world of MMA as a professional. Although he lost his first MMA match, Pegado built an amazing record of winning 32 matches in a row within nine years. In 2011, he was also awarded a black belt in BJJ. Furthermore, Pegado won the UFC Bantamweight Championship in 2014. He won the Fight of the Night Award twice, once at UFC 138 and the other at UFC 173.

The platform “Sherdog” declared Pegado as one of the most-watched Brazilian MMA fighters .

He holds 44 matches with 34 wins, nine losses, and one no-contest. Pegado holds 11th rank in pound fighting. The statistics for his wins are submission (15), decision (11), and knockout (8).

2.1 Renan Barao’s Early Life and Amateur Fighting

On January 31, 1987, Renan Barao Pegado was born in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Pegado grew up to be an averagely tall man, standing at a height of 5 feet and 6 inches. When Pegado began his MMA training, he managed to develop a good reach of 70 inches. Barao’s father ( Netinho Pegado) was a boxer who chose to teach boxing to others later in life. Following in his father’s footsteps, Pegado started his combat training at an early age with his father, who wanted his child to adopt a professional career in fighting instead of wasting his energy on gang wars or street fights.

At the age of 14, Pendago’s friend ( Jorge), who was training at the Kimura Nova Uniao (KNU) BJJ school, introduced him to jiu-jitsu by convincing him to attend his first BJJ class at the academy. Pegado fell in love with the grappling sport and never looked back. He kept up his BJJ training with a lot of fervour and also competed extensively in tournaments. Eventually, he decided to explore mixed martial arts and joined KNU Academy’s MMA team. Pegado was lucky enough to be mentored by Jair Lourenco in the initial phase of his MMA training.

Pegado’s other training partners from KNU’s MMA team were Jussier Formiga, Ronny Markes, Dinarte “Silva'' Lima Jr, and many others. Learning from his teammates, Stevens adopted new techniques and strategies.

At 18 years of age, Pegado started fighting in a Natal club. Within two years, the flagship club invited him to Rio De Janeiro to get specialised training.

Pegado worked hard and kept on practising physical exercises, wrestling, MMA, and BJJ at the club. He became a permanent part of Nova Uniao Club and fought at the Octagon for the first time in 2011.

Firstly, Pegado fought from the platform of WEC, then joined UFC. He also carried out the first official defense title at UFC 169.

Also, Pegado knocked out his opponent Urijah Faber' at UFC 149 (2012) and earned the title of Bantamweight Champion. Pegado went on to win the Bantamweight Championship twice.

3. Renan Barao’s Professional Career

3.1 Renan Barao’s Pro BJJ Combat

In September 2011, Pegado was awarded a black belt by Andre Dede Pederneiras, making him the 100th black belt that the coach had trained .

"The first time he arrived in my gym and I saw him train, I saw a lot of future in this kid. He had a big heart. He was so small compared to some of my other guys, but he trained equal to them. I told my friend, 'He has a lot of talent. One day, he'll be a champion, for sure.'"

(André Pederneiras)

Pegado got gold medals at the North/Northeast Championship (2005-2008) and Rio Grande Do Norte State Champion, and a bronze medal at the Pan American Champion 2009). He had developed expertise in striking, grappling, and submissions techniques.

3.2 Renan Barao’s Pro MMA Combat

Pegado is considered a violent fighter in the WEC and UFC.

"Looking for the knockout and the submission is my way of fighting,"

(Renan Barao Pegado)

He had an unmatched winning record. The greatest wins of his career were against Eddie Wineland, Brad Pickett, and Urijah Faber. While the winning itself was indeed impressive , the way Pegado utilised different knees, kicks, punches, and lethal submissions made these matches historical and interesting.

Renan Barao’s Fighting Events (MMA)

World Extreme Cagefighting

Pegado's first fights were at the 49th WEC and Bantamweight Contest in 2010 by defeating Leone by armbar. He then defeated Chris Carsiso with a rear-naked choke.

Ultimate Fighting Championship & Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship

After the merger of the UFC and WEC, all fighters began to fight for the UFC. In 2011, Pegado defeated Cole Escovedo in his first UFC fight via a unanimous decision. Pegado then had the honor of fighting against and defeating Pickett with a rear-naked choke submission in the first round of UFC 138 in 2011. Next year, he battled against Scott Jorgensen and beat him with a unanimous decision. Pegado also won the interim Bantamweight title in 2012 after facing and beating Faber. His match with Dominick Cruz was also scheduled for the UFC Bantamweight Championship, but was delayed due to Crus getting injured.

Again in 2013, Pegado defended his title by defeating Michael McDonald, using smart fighting tactics such as knee kicks, crisp boxing, and take-down defence. McDonald tried to attack his feet and knock him down, but Pegado successfully applied an arm-triangle choke while pinning him on his sides. Finally, he won in the fourth round. Thus Pegado also got his first “Submission of the Tournament” award.

UFC planned a bout in June 2013. At UFC 161, Pegado had to defend his title against Eddie Wineland, but he could not fight due to a foot injury. The contest was rescheduled for September at UFC 165. Pegado was victorious after successfully connecting with spinning back kicks and face punches. Thus, he became the first fighter to win this title twice . He also got a bonus reward for the first knockout of the night.

UFC Bantamweight Champion

The next fight was against Dominick Cruz at the UFC Bantamweight Championship in 2014. Due to his opponent, Dominick Cruz, suffering an injury, Barao was declared a winner without competition. He also defeated Faber in the first round in the same year.

At UFC 173, a big upset took place as Pegado was defeated by Dillashaw in 2014. But despite losing , he still received the “Fight of the Night” award as he was a favourite and put up a thrilling fight.

Title Dispute with Dillashaw

Unfortunately, with two consecutive defeats at the hands of Dillashaw at UFC 177 and sudden weight loss before the tournament in 2014, Pegado lost his title.

Pegado fought against Mitch Gagnon at UFC Night in 2014 after losing his title. Luckily, he won the fight in the third round by using an arm triangle submission, also earning him the “Best Performance of the Night” award.

A rematch with Dillashaw was scheduled to take place on April 25, 2015 at UFC 186. But due to Dillashaw’s rib injury, it was postponed. When the fight eventually took place, Dillashaw lost in the fourth round to Pegado through a TKO.

Move Back to Featherweight

In 2016, Pegado lost against Jeremy Stephens and Philipe Nover at the UFC Featherweight Contest through unanimous decision. There was an upcoming bout planned with DO Ho Choi in 2017, but Choi did not accept the challenge.

Bantamweight Return

In 2017, Pegado faced many problems because of his sudden weight loss . Even he could not meet the weight limit at UFC 177. Pegado lost his bout against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 214. He also suffered defeat at the hands of Brain Kelleher in 2017 and 2018 via unanimous decisions. Then, at UFC 137 Fight Night, he lost against Andre Ewell via split decision. Then, he also lost to Luke Sanders at UFC 2019. Pegado faced Luke Sanders on February 17, 2019 and was defeated via knockout in the second match. In December 2019, Pegado was removed from the UFC after losing to Silva Andrade.

Eagle Fighting Championship 2022

In 2022, Pegado was ready to compete with Horacio Gutierrez at the EFC 44, but the match was cancelled.

Renan Barao Pegado’s Remarkable Wins at WEC

Pegado made a name for himself in the WEC lightweight division until 2010. He also made his debut fight with Anthony Leone at WEC 49 in Edmonton, Alberta. Pegado knocked Leone down by using a submission armbar. He also marked his win against Chris Cariaso as the moment he completed his 4th winning record. Pegado ended his contract with WEC with 12 wins under his belt.

3.3 The Downfall of Renan Barao Pegado

In 2019, Dana White (President of UFC) became disappointed by Pegado’s five-loss streak from 2017 to 2019 and dropped him from the UFC squad. Pegado lost the trust of UFC and his fans due to his poor performance. Many experts claimed that his sudden weight loss before the fights was the major cause of his downfall. He lost up to five lbs in weight during his time in the bantamweight division. Pegado felt weak and fainted, even hitting his head against h the bathtub at one point.

“The worst thing that was going on at bantamweight was the weight cut. I was harming myself in every single of those performances. I couldn’t put on a good performance, I couldn’t train well. I was stuck in my diet. I would look at the guys I lost to and ask myself ‘How could I lose to those guys? I couldn’t fight in my last four bouts.”

(Renan Barão Pegado)

3.4 Career Plans for 2021/2022

After his downfall and removal from the UFC in 2019, Pegado took a break for a while before planning to join other martial arts organisations like One Championship, Cage Warriors, Bellator MMA and Bare Knuckle Fighting.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pegado signed a contract with Taura MMA to in 2020 against Bobby Moffet, but all matches were delayed due to the pandemic.

Recently, he signed up for the Elite MMA Championship (Germany) to compete against Denis Stojnic, Brad Katona, and Ismail Naurdiev, but again the matches were delayed due to the pandemic.

Soon after COVID-19, Pegado was scheduled for several bouts, but they all got canceled. Finally, on 7th October 2023 Fera Championship was held in Kuwait, Pegado competed against Walter Zamaro but lost the bout via split decision.

3.5. Returning to BJJ

The former UFC legend Pegado returned to the grappling scene after retiring from his mixed martial arts career. The IBJJF Fortazela International Open was held in June of 2023. Pegado participated in this competition and took home the gold in the lightweight Gi Master 2 division. Pegado also announced that he would compete with Charles Oliveira, a UFC champion at the BJJ Stars Championship 2023, and he was quite excited about the fight, but the match was postponed as Oliveira had to compete in an important UFC tournament.

“When our friend Fepa, the head of BJJ Stars, called me with this proposal, I was very happy. Charles had also accepted a gi match with the weight to be agreed upon later. We were waiting for the UFC’s decision, but since Charles is fighting now, the UFC did not release him. But we will wait for another opportunity so that this fight can happen and further enhance our Jiu-Jitsu.”

4. Renan Barao’s Historic Fights

Aljamain Sterling vs Renan Barao Pegado at UFC 214

Aljamain Sterling used an aggressive approach while jumping around a lot at the start of the match. Even though Sterling slipped during the opening round, he managed to put the pressure on Pegado by using a kneebar move. Sterling took command of the fight in the second round. Then, Pegado dropped Sterling and performed a standing anaconda. But Sterling used his striking skills to set up a takedown and a rare Suelov stretch. While Pegado escaped that, Sterling still had the advantage over Barap from the top position during the remaining rounds. Sterling attempted more strikes against Barao in the third round. Sterling won the match via unanimous decision, with the scores being 29-28, 29-27, and 30-26. 

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight class Location
2017 UFC 214 Aljamain Sterling Loss Decision (Unanimous) 3 Catchweight Anaheim, California, United States

Renan Barao Pegado vs Urijah Faber - UFC 169

At the beginning of the match, Pegado positioned himself at the center of the cage. Faber came forward to attack Pegado , but Pegado lifted his leg and spun him around. Again, Faber came forward with a right-left attack and pushed Pegado back. Pegado faked a kick, but Faber did not retaliate . Then, Pegado came forward and started kicking Faber. They both came together in the middle, with Faber throwing a couple of errant high kicks. Pegado snapped off a very loud leg kick, then caught Faber and pounced. Consequently, Barao got on top and landed punches that Faber could not completely block. Faber got to his feet and tried to defend himself but Pegado again attacked with a huge barrage of punches. Barao won the match vi TKO thanks to his unrelenting punches.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight class Location
2014 UFC 169 Urijah Faber Win TKO (Punches) 1 Bantamweight New Jersey,USA

Renan Barao Pedago vs Eddie Wineland - UFC 165

The fight started when Wineland used his boxing techniques against Pegado who adopted a kickboxing stance to defend himself. Wineland seemed to have Pegado on the backfoot with a few counter punches. In the end, Pegado attacked Wineland with spinning back kicks and punches, knocking his opponent down, resulting in an impressive finish.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight class Location
2013 UFC 165 Eddie Wineland Win TKO ( Spinning back kick/punches) 2 Bantamweight Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Renan Barao Pedago vs Brad Pickett

Pegado began the fight with massive kicking but Pickett was quite a challenging opponent. Barao dominated Pickett with his striking and punching skills. Pickett tried harder for any dominant move. Both fighters did some hard solo shots, but neither got a full-on combination through. Barao jumped in with a knee that knocked Pickett down and then followed the move with punches. Pickett somehow survived this , but Barao took his back and defeated Brad Pickett via submission (Rear Naked Choke).

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight class Location
2011 UFC 138 Brad Pickett Win Submission(Rear-Naked Choke) 1 Bantamweight Birmingham

Renan Barao vs Mitch Gagnon

At the start of the match, Gagnon used speed and footwork to move along the outside. He’d move in and out landing a jab and a left hook. Pegado took his time and stood in the middle throughout the round. Pegado successfully landed a left hook to knock Gagnon down.

In the second round, Gagnon continued to apply forward pressure as Pegado looked to counter strike. Gagnon attempted several takedowns but was unable to get Pegado to the ground. Gagnon also pressed Pegado against the cage, but was unable to advance. The referee separated them twice in the round. Gagnon did a good job of grabbing Pegado , but could not escape the clinch position.

Pegado landed leg and knee kicks on Gagnon's body throughout the bout. In the final round, he began to put pressure on Gagnon. Pegado Resillquickly moved to the side and attempted an arm-triangle choke. He tightened his hold and Gagnon was forced to tap out.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight class Location
2014 UFC Fight Night Mitch Gagnon Win Submission(Arm-Triangle Choke) 3 Bantamweight Barueri, Brazil

5. Renan Barao’s BJJ Championships and Accomplishments

National Championship

  • Rio Grande do Norte State Champion

International Championships

  • IBJJF Fortaleza International Open 2023
  • North/Northeast Interstate Champion
  • Pan American Bronze Championship


Year Event Medals
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 North/Northeast Interstate Champion 4 Gold Medals
2009 Pan American Championship 1 Bronze Medal

5.1 Renan Barao’s Main Achievements

North/Northeast Interstate Champion

Year Weight class
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008  Featherweight

Rio Grande do Norte State Champion

He won Rio Grande do Norte State Champion once

Pan American Bronze Championship

Year Weight class
2009  Bantamweight

5.2 Renan Barao’s Main Achievements (MMA)

Three-time winner of the “Fight of the Night” award
Year Opponent
2016 Jeremy Stephens
2014 T.J Dillashaw
2011 Brad Pickett

One-time winner of the “Performance of the Night” award
Year Opponent
2014 Mitch Gagnon

One-time winner of the “Knockout of the Night”award
Year Opponent
2013 Eddie Wineland

 One-time winner of the “ Submission of the Night” award
Year Opponent
2013 Micheal Mcdonald

5.3 Worldwide MMA Rankings

Rank Title
#11 MMA Fighter of the Year 2013
#8 MMA Fighter of the Year,2012
#64 Greatest MMA Fighter of the Year

6. Renan Barao’s MMA Professional Record Breakdown

Professional Record Breakdown
44 Matches 34 Wins 10 Losses
By knockdown 8 3
By submission 15 0
By Decision 11 7
No Contest 1

6.1 Submission Methods W/L

Method 15 Wins 0 Loss
Rear Naked Choke 6 0
Kneebar 1 0
Arm Triangle Choke 2 0
Armbar 2 0
Triangle Choke 2 0
Toe Hold 1 0
Triangle Choke 1 0

6.2 Renan Barao’s MMA Match History Breakdown

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Round Method
2023 Fera Championship Walter Zamora L 3 Split Decision
2022 Solidário Fight Combat 1 Simao Peixoto L 3 Arm Triangle Choke
2019 UFC Fight Night: Błachowicz vs. Jacaré Douglas Silva de Andrade L 3 Decision(unanimous)
2019 UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez Luke Sanders L 2 KO( Punches)
2018 UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Anders Andre Ewell L 3 Decision ( Split)
2018 UFC on Fox: Emmett vs. Stephens Brian Kelleher L 3 Decision ( unanimous)
2017 UFC 214 Aljamain Sterling L 3 Decision ( Unanimous)
2016 UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Länsberg Phillipe Nover W 3 Decision ( Unanimous)
2016 UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt Jeremy Stephens L 3 Decision ( Unanimous)
2015 UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2 T.J. Dillashaw L 4 TKO ( Punches)
2014 UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Dollaway Mitch Gagnon W 3 Submission( Arm-Triangle Choke)
2014 UFC 173 T.J. Dillashaw L 5 TKO( Head kick/Punches)
2014 UFC 169 Urijah Faber W 1 TKO ( Punches)
2013 UFC 165 Eddie Wineland W 2 TKO ( Spinning back kick/punches)
2013 UFC on Fuel TV: Barão vs. McDonald Michael McDonald W 4 Submission( Arm-Triangle Choke)
2012 UFC 149 Urijah Faber W 5 Decision( unanimous)
2012 UFC 143 Scott Jorgensen W 3 Decision(unanimous)
2011 UFC 138 Brad Pickett W 1 Submission(Rear-Naked Choke)
2011 UFC 130 Cole Escovedo W 3 Decision(unanimous)
2010 WEC 53 Chris Cariaso W 1 Submission(Rear-Naked Choke)
2010 WEC 49 Anthony Leone W 3 Submission(Armbar)
2010 Jungle Fight 17: Vila Velha Sérgio Silva W 3 Decision ( Unanimous)
2009 Platinum Fight Brazil 2 Jorge Enciso W 1 Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
2009 Eagle Fighting Championship Marcio Nunes W 1 TKO (Punches)
2009 Shooto 13 Paulo Dantas W 3 Decision (Unanimous)
2009 Platinum Fight Brazil Jurandir Sardinha W 2 TKO (Punches)
2009 Watch Out Combat Show 3 Andre Luiz W 3 Submission (Triangle Choke)
2008 Shooto Brazil 9 Alexandre Pinheiro W 3 TKO (Arm Injury)
2008 Watch Out Combat Show 2 Rogerio Silva W 2 Submission (rear-naked choke)
2008 Watch Out Combat Show 2 William Porfirio W 1 KO (knee)
2008 Shooto Brazil 8 Fabiano Lucas W 3 Decision (unanimous)
2008 Leal Combat Jetron Azevedo W 1 Submission (armbar)
2008 Natal Cage Vale Tudo Ronaldo Figueiredo W 3 Decision (unanimous)
2008 Shooto Brazil 6 William Vianna W 3 Decision (unanimous)
2007 Black Bull Vale Tudo Claudemir Souza NC 1 NC (illegal soccer kick)
2007 Shooto Brazil 4 Danilo Noronha W 1 Submission (rear-naked choke)
2007 Shooto Brazil 3 Erinaldo Rodriguez W 1 Submission (toe hold)
2007 Garra Fight Carlos Heide W 1 Submission (triangle choke)
2007 Garra Fight Janailson Pereira W 3 Decision (split)
2006 Cage Fight Nordeste Rony Jason W 3 Decision (split)
2006 Nordest Combat Championship Kaio Werbson Ferreira de Freitas W 1 TKO (punches)
2006 Rino's FC 2 Gleison Menezes W 1 Submission (kneebar)
2005 Fight Ship Looking Boy 2 Dande Dande W 1 KO (punch)
2005 Mossoro Fight Anistavio Medeiros W 2 Submission (rear-naked choke)
2005 Tremons Fight Melk Freitas W 3 TKO (punches)
2005 Heat FC 3 João Paulo Rodrigues L 3 Decision (unanimous)

Photo credit: @renanbaraooficial

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