UFC 169 just received a pair of highly-anticipated lighter weight championship fights.
Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (19-1) is returning from over two years away with a lingering knee injury and a series of surgeries, and will take on the longtime interim champion, Renan Barao (33-1).
Barao has twice defended his interim title since winning it in July 2012. Barao has finished both opponents in his title defenses.
Cruz last fought in October 2011 when he brought now-flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson to a decision, retaining his title. He now returns as talk of stripping champions after a certain period of inactivity came to light.
The main event will feature a featherweight title fight as Ricardo Lamas (13-2) gets a long-overdue title shot with champ, Jose Aldo (23-1).
Aldo is coming off of a 4th round TKO over Chan-Sung Jung at UFC 163 in August while Lamas returns from a January bout with Erik Koch which saw Lamas emerge victorious by TKO.
According to Mark La Monica of Newsday, both bouts have been verbally agreed to and will both headline the UFC 169 card in Newark, New Jersey on February 2nd at the Prudential Center. This event will take place on the same weekend as the Super Bowl, a regular practice by the UFC.
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