First and Worst: Week of December 3 – 9

By Adam Martin Subscribe to Articles by Adam Martin

First and Worst is an ongoing series for, where every week Adam will make his pick for the best and worst newly-announced fight of the past week (Monday to Sunday). If you’d like to see any additions to this series, hit him up on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.

First: Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald, UFC on FUEL TV 7

My pick for the best fight announced in the past week is Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald, which will headline UFC London, and which will be
for Barao’s UFC interim bantamweight strap. In a battle between two of the best
135-pounders on the planet, we can expect nothing but an exciting, fun fight
between these two.

Sure, there’s the possibility that McDonald isn’t ready yet for
a UFC title shot, but the 21-year old has proven with his fights in the UFC
that he’s ready for a big fight, at least, and honestly, who thinks Barao’s
interim title is legit? McDonald’s coming off a massive win over former WEC
bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, and really, there’s no one else for Barao
to fight right now, so this fight had to happen with the re-aggravated injury to
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz putting him on the shelf for quite a

As for Barao, there’s nothing really to say, because the young
Brazilian champion has proven through his four UFC appearances that he’s one of
the most exciting fighters out there, and he’s going to be very hard for any
opponent in his weight class to beat.

But who knows? Maybe McDonald can exploit some weakness in
Barao that we haven’t seen yet. I’m not sure about that, and I do favour Barao,
but I do know that both of these guys are going to come out gunning regardless,
and for the UFC to offer this fight free on FUEL TV, I can’t say enough good

Worst: Chad Mendes vs.
Yaotzin Meza, UFC on FX 6

After Chad Mendes owned Cody McKenzie at UFC 148, UFC president
Dana White said in the post-fight press conference that he would get Mendes a
better opponent in his next outing. Mendes was then booked to facing rising
prospect Hacran Dias at UFC on FX 6, but Dias last week pulled out with an
unfortunate injury. So on one weeks’ notice steps in Yaotzin Meza, who is
making his UFC debut.

First off, Mendes is fantastic fighter, and despite a loss to
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 142, Mendes remains of the best
145ers out there. Meza, on the other hand, is making his UFC debut and is
actually coming into the UFC off a TKO loss in his last outing. He is not in
Mendes’ class in any way, shape, or form.

Obviously, UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby was in dire straits in
looking for an opponent for Mendes on short notice, but Meza won’t give him a
fight. Mendes will steamroll his opponent and get another win against an
unranked featherweight, making me scratch my head with what the UFC is doing
with him.

Honestly, I think the UFC should have just held Mendes back and
given him a fight on an upcoming card, but I guess he was peaking and they
wanted to give him a fight. Still, though, this is a squash match any way you
look at it, and it’s my pick for the worst fight announced in the past week.

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