Highlight reel knockout sees interim champ in prime position to take on Dominick Cruz.
Renan Barao became the first fighter in the UFC to defend an interim title twice after he knocked out Eddie Wineland on the main card of UFC 165 in Toronto.
The TKO win came via a spinning back-kick, with the Brazilian ace becoming just the third fighter in the history of the promotion to earn victory via the attack.
With 35 seconds gone in the second round, Wineland ducked at the same time Barao threw the kick which burst through his opponent’s defence and landed solidly on his chin, sending him down to the canvas,
The champion used the opportunity to his advantage as he jumped on his downed foe and rained down punches until he was waved off by referee Yves Lavigne.
After the fight Barao (31-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), whose winning streak now stands at an incredible 21, said he only had eyes for undisputed bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
Cruz, who has been out of action for the past two years due to knee injuries, is scheduled to defend his title early in 2014, with a superfight in the works.
Wineland (20-9-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) goes back to the drawing board after wins against Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett in his previous two outings.
Since transitioning from the now-defunct WEC, where he once held the bantamweight title, and the UFC, he is 2-3 in the octagon.