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Renan Barao on Mitch Gagnon: ‘I don’t think the fight was that hard’

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

BARUERI, Brazil -- Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao returned to the win column with a submission victory over Mitch Gagnon, but the fight lasted longer than many expected.

Gagnon, who entered the bout in a four-fight winning streak, was able to survive after getting knocked down in the first round, and won the second round on two of the three judges’ scorecards, but ended up submitted by the Brazilian 135-pounder in the third.

"I was happy to be fighting in front of the Brazilians," Barao said at the post-fight press conference in Brazil.

"I don’t think the fight was that hard," he continued. "I knocked him down in the first round, he basically just held me in the second, and I was able to submit him in the third. Gagnon is a tough guy, I told that before the fight in interviews, and it was a great fight."

Barao, who had a rough year in 2014, losing his belt and passing out moments before the UFC 177 weigh-ins in August, is willing to be back in action as soon as possible if the UFC needs.

"I will rest now, enjoy the end of the year with my family, and talk to (Andre Pederneiras) and Jair Lourenco," he said. "If I have the opportunity to fight soon or wait a bit, I’m here. I love to fight and I love to be inside the Octagon. My goal is always to fight."

Now at 8-1 under the UFC banner with another finish added to his record, Barao has one goal in his mind:

"I will bring this belt back to Brazil."

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