Back in May, we learned that former bantamweight champion Renan Barao would be returning to the division he once ruled after a 2-fight run at featherweight. The former champ’s bantamweight return was pencilled in for UFC 214, on July 29 in Anaheim, California, where he will take on long-time bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling.
According to a report from FloCombat.com, however, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) will not be allowing Barao to brave another gruelling cut to the bantamweight division’s 136 pound cap – a cut that has gone disastrously for him in the past. Instead, the commission has decided to change Barao and Sterling’s fight to a 140 pound catchweight so that Barao doesn’t put himself in danger by cutting down to 136.
According to FloCombat’s report, Sterling was offered the option of pushing the fight back to a later date, but accepted the UFC 214 140-pound catchweight as he is already deeply embedded in his training camp.
“Do you remember UFC 177, the one over here in Sacramento? The last time we had to regulate Mr. Barao at 135, it didn’t turn out so good,” CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster told FloCombat in a statement. “He didn’t make it to the fight. Our doctors and our commission staff, we are certainly not against the fight [vs. Sterling]. We’re happy with the fight. Just not at 135. Now, if Mr. Barao makes 140 no problem and everything’s good, in the future if he wants to fight at 135, we can revisit that.
“But last time he was here, he didn’t make the weight. I don’t even know if that’s an accurate statement. He didn’t weigh in. That’s probably a better statement. So we’re going to 140, and I think that’s a responsible course of action.”
What do you think of the CSAC’s choice to bar Renan Barao from fighting at bantamweight? Is this the right move?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/28/2017.