At 2-2 in the UFC, former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland (20-8) is just over two months away from the biggest opportunity of his career. The 28-year-old Texan is headlining UFC 161, the UFC's first card in Winnipeg, Canada, against interim bantamweight champion, Renan Barao (30-1). After consecutive losses to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, Wineland has bounced back with two big wins over top contenders, Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett. But in Barao, he faces arguably his toughest challenge in a decade of professional MMA. The 26-year-old Brazilian, who’s on a remarkable 29-fight win streak, is extremely well-versed on the feet and the ground. He's looked bulletproof since leaving his home country to fight in the big leagues, but at the UFC 161 press conference, Wineland seemed as confident as ever.
"My training for this fight, it's no different than any other fight. We're training just like we normally train; a little more grappling, we're going to push it a little harder. Obviously it's a 25-minute fight - not that I intend it to go 25 minutes - but 25 minutes, we'll be ready for it. I think I'm stronger, I think I'm faster, I think I hit harder, I think I'm the better wrestler ... Yeah, it's for a belt, it's 25 minutes, but every fight that I'm in I feel I could fight for 25 minutes. So, the conditioning, as the round goes on, it's going to be in my favour ... I don't think I'm going to have any problem pulling the trigger. You watch the Jorgensen fight, you watch the Pickett fight, I didn't have any problem letting my hands go and this is going to be no different. I'm going to go in there and make it ugly, get in his face and just kind of be the bully."