Earlier this year, we learned that, despite a decent 1-1 record at featherweight, Renan Barao would be abandoning the division in favor of a return to his former bantamweight haunts. Now, the details of Barao’s bantamweight return have been revealed. The former bantamweight king will be taking on long-time prospect Aljamain Sterling at UFC 214, this July 29 in Anaheim, California.
This fight was announced by the UFC on Wednesday evening.
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— UFC (@ufc) May 25, 2017
Barao was last seen in the Octagon in September, when he defeated Philippe Nover by decision. Prior this fight, he gave up a hard-fought decision to Jeremy Stephens in his featherweight debut. His last two fights at bantamweight saw him stopped by TJ Dillashaw, marking a decisive end to his short but impressive reign as bantamweight king.
Sterling, meanwhile, last fought in August, when he rebounded from back-to-back losses with a decision defeat of Augusto Mendes. His previous losses came against long-time contenders Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao. Both losses were quite competitive.
UFC 214 will be headlined by a light heavyweight title grudge match between reigning champ Daniel Cormier and former champion Jon Jones. This bout will be a rematch of an early 2015 fight, which Jones won by decision.
The card is also expected to feature Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s first crack at UFC featherweight gold, though the details of this fight remain nebulous.
Finally, as reported by our own Chris Taylor several weeks ago, UFC 214 will feature a compelling featherweight scrap between contenders Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung – more widely known as “The Korean Zombie.”
How do you think Renan Barao will look in his return to the bantamweight division? Will Aljamain Sterling be too much?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/25/2017.