An injury to Mike Easton could provide the UFC with a No. 1 contender match in the bantamweight division. Easton, who was originally scheduled to face Yves Jabouin at UFC on FUEL TV 3, will be replaced by Jeff Hougland.
In the more interesting match up, however, Hougland’s original opponent, Renan Barao, will now square off with Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148. Barao-Menjivar could determine the next contender to either UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz or current challenger Urijah Faber. Those two are expected to meet in the main event of UFC 148 on July 7.
Barao (28-1) and Menjivar (24-8) have won their six fights since coming over from the WEC to the UFC. Barao has stopped Cole Escovedo, Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen, while Menjivar owns wins over Charlie Valencia, Nick Pace and John Albert. Barao confirmed the change via his Twitter account.
Hougland (10-4) and Jabouin (17-7) will meet on May 15 from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.