Monday, February 11th - while the majority of the people living in Brazil are partying for the popular Carnival, one man is hitting pads in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro in preparation to defend his interim bantamweight title on Saturday in London. That man is Renan Barão.
Of course, Barão is a UFC fighter who is aware of his responsibilities, and he doesn't complain about that fact. He knows the job he needs to do against number one contender Michael McDonald in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 7 at Wembley Arena. Seeing his teammates celebrating during the popular Brazilian party was a bit tough to deal with though.
"It’s hard to explain to outsiders what Carnival is here in Brazil," he says. "The party is great and is such a national party. I'm okay with the fact that I'm not involved, but seeing my friends and teammates leaving the training sessions and going straight to these parties around Rio de Janeiro is funny. I hope my party will be after I defend my belt successfully against McDonald."
Even though Barão is 100% focused on his job, it seems that with his Nova União peers enjoying the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, his training can't be explored to its maximum. But Barão says he's not alone on his quest, and the friends that are partying are just a small part of the crew.
"The great part of being a Nova União member is that you've got several of the guys preparing themselves for MMA shows," he said, assuring his fans that he will be ready for battle. "So while there can be one guy who doesn’t have a fight scheduled, so his routine is less tough, we've got six or seven guys ready to give you a full hand at training sessions because they're going to fight soon and can't take it easy.