Former champion Renan Barao returns against debuting fighter at UFC Sao Paulo

Renan Barao, UFC Sao Paulo

There was a time not all that long ago that Renan Barao ruled over the bantamweight division with an iron first. Since losing his title to TJ Dillashaw, however, Barao has been on a significant downslide. Now, he’s been tasked with welcoming a debuting fighter to the Octagon — which would have been unthinkable at the height of his reign as UFC bantamweight champion.

Barao will return to the cage against streaking LFA and CES MMA transplant Andre Ewell at UFC Sao Paulo on September 22. This bout was first reported by Raphael Marinho of Combate.

Renan Barao will enter this fight on a two-fight skid, having recently given up decisions to Brian Kelleher and Aljamain Sterling. These losses were preceded by a decision defeat of Philippe Nover and two more decision defeats at the hands of Jeremy Stephens and TJ Dillashaw. This loss to Dillashaw marked Barao’s chance to reclaim the title. Renan Barao is 24-6 in sum.

Andre Ewell will make his UFC debut on a four-fight win-streak. This streak is composed of a first-round submission of Hugo Flores, a first-round knockout of Gustavo Lopez, a first-round knockout of Trent Meaux, and a third-round knockout of Dinis Paiva. He’s 13-4 overall.

Here’s the UFC Sao Paulo lineup as it currently stands.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Sam Alvey
Ketlen Vieira vs. Tonya Evinger
Neil Magny vs. Alex Oliveira
Ben Saunders vs. Sergio Moraes
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Belal Muhammad
Thales Leites vs. Hector Lombard
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Evan Dunham
Livia Renata Souza vs. Alex Chambers
Luis Henrique vs. Mark Godbeer

Do you think Renan Barao can turn things around in front of his Brazilian fans, or is Andre Ewell poised for a huge win over a former bantamweight champ in his UFC debut?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/1/2018.