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Wednesday, 05/21/2014, 12:50 pm

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White Smashes Journalist Over Anti-Barao Comments

UFC President Dana White has done his best to sell Renan Barao as a legit draw in the sport.

With a headlining slot on this weekend’s pay-per-view and near historic low PPV buys this year, the UFC boss needs some people to bite on that idea.

A recent Ben Fowlkes article brings Barao’s star-power into question and Dana isn’t having it.

Here’s a few words from Fowlkes:

First Barao was a “monster.” Then he was a “killer.” Now he’s “the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world,” according to White, and just in case you aren’t buying that, he’ll go ahead and bury you with stats. Because nothing gets fans fired up for a title fight quite like math.

It’s hard to blame the UFC too much. On paper, Barao should be a superstar. His unbeaten streak is legitimately impressive, even if the first few years of it came against regional nobodies, and even if White apparently felt the need to fudge some of those numbers when touting Barao’s stats (“The kid hasn’t lost a fight in 35 fights,” said White, which isn’t exactly true, since Barao is 32-1 according to Sherdog and 28-1 according to MMA.tv).

But if Barao’s struggle to go big time tells us anything, it might be that skill doesn’t sell as much as we’d like to pretend it does. Not by itself, anyway. Not if it comes wrapped up in the package of a 135-pound fighter who doesn’t speak much English, doesn’t have much in the way of an identifiable personality, and – let’s just be real here – looks a little bit goofy.

And Dana’s response:

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