Report: Renan Barao to return to bantamweight after short featherweight career

April 26, 2017 9:50 am by Tom Taylor
Renan Barao

These days, weight cutting is a hot-button issue in MMA. This longstanding practice has left us with many cancelled fights, and worse still, many unhealthy fighters, some of whom have fainted or had to be hospitalized while trying desperately to sweat out water weight. One of the worst cuts in recent memory occurred in 2014, when former bantamweight champion Renan Barao was admitted to a hospital due to a disastrous cut for a rematch with TJ Dillashaw.

This brutal cut to bantamweight, along with another decisive loss to Dillashaw in their eventual rematch, drove Barao up to the 145-pound featherweight division, where the cut would be less severe.

Barao’s relocation to the featherweight division was considered a smart move on his part by pretty much everyone in the MMA community. Even when he lost his featherweight debut, giving up a unanimous decision to former lightweight Jeremy Stephens, it still seemed as though he had made the right choice. Barao’s earning his first featherweight win – a September 2016 decision win over Philippe Nover – gave even more reason to believe he should stay at 145. While he was some distance from title contention, he had shown he could hang in the division.

Surprisingly, however, the former bantamweight champ as decided to return to his old bantamweight haunts. This news comes from Brazil’s Combate.

As a bantamweight, Barao holds wins over respectable opposition such as Anthony Leone, Chris Cariaso, Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen, Urijah Faber (twice), Michael MacDonald, and Eddie Wineland. In 39 professional fights, he has lost just four times: twice to Dillashaw, once to Stephens, and once, way back in his pro debut in 2005, to João Paulo Rodrigues.

At the moment, it is not known when or against whom Renan Barao will return to bantamweight. Stay tuned to BJPenn.com for more details as the emerge.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/26/2017.


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