Renan Barao Set to Face T.J. Dillashaw for UFC 173 Main Event
UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao is set to headline UFC 173 on May 24, filling in the gap left after UFC Middleweight Champ Chris Weidman sustained a knee injury and was forced out of his bout with former UFC Light Heavyweight champ Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida.
According to USA Today, UFC President Dana White announced Thursday that Renan Barao will be facing T.J. Dillashaw for the main event of UFC 173. The event is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
The original bout of Weidman vs. Machida has been pushed back to UFC 175, scheduled for July 5th.
The title fight headlines a stacked five fight cards, scheduled to appear live on Pay-Per-View. Preliminary bouts are to air on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
The undefeated Barao is currently 32-0 as a professional Mixed Martial Artist and has hopes to defend his title for a second time in the UFC. Formally, the interim champion, Barao was awarded the undisputed title after former champion Dominic Cruz sustained yet another injury.
Barao defended the official title in his bout with Dillashaw’s Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber last February at UFC 169.
Dillashaw, who most will remember from season 14 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, has gone 5-1 since joining the UFC. His last victory being in January, as he bested Mike Easton with an impressive unanimous decision victory. His only loss under the Zuffa banner coming by way of split decision against Raphael Assuncao in October of 2013. A tough matchup and in no way a shameful loss on Dillishaw’s part.
Dillashaw undoubtedly faces his toughest opponent yet in the monster that is Barao.
So, I have to ask. What do you say Penn Nation? Does Dillashaw have what it takes?