With Hurt Foot Barao May Be Out of Defending his Title at UFC 161
By JAKE CHASTAIN
| When too many things seem to be going right the UFC can always count on something putting a damper on the mood. This time the rain over the party comes by way of…you called it…injury.
After Saturday night’s amazing UFC on FX 8 card in Brazil rumors started swirling regarding the health of UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao. Barao (30-1, 1 NC) was scheduled to defend his title on June 15th against the surging Eddie Wineland (20-8-1) in the main event of UFC 161 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, at the MTS Centre.
Tatame.com, a Brazilian MMA publication, reported early on Saturday morning that Barao had suffered an injury to his foot and would not have time to recover before his June 15th title defense; therefore he would not be fighting on the card.
The show, which is the UFC’s debut event in Winnipeg, sold out the 13,000 tickets that were put on sale in the first weekend of availability. The gate is projected to range around $3 million but with Barao rumored to be injured it will be interesting to see how the UFC handles the situation.
Although Barao vs. Wineland was tabbed as the main event it likely only gained that billing because it was a title fight. The card still has two of its most anticipated fights fully intact. The UFC’s light heavyweight division will see its landscape shift a bit after some of its top-ranked fighters go to war with each other at UFC 161. Dan Henderson takes on Rashad Evans in an overly important fight for both men while Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will do battle with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a fight that will see both men scrap in their effort to stay relevant. Those two fights alone hold main event power but we’ll see what the UFC opts to do with the 161 main event slot.