Eddie Wineland has been without gold for five years now. That could all change within the next 90 days as he prepares to challenge the UFC’s interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
“That’s my belt originally from the WEC days,” said Wineland to MMA Junkie. “Now it’s my time to put it in the hands of the original owner.”
To his credit, Wineland has the distinction of being the first WEC bantamweight title holder. That same piece of gold would eventually be promoted to the UFC.
Wineland dropped the title in his only defense to Chase Beebe. He left the WEC shortly afterwards.
After a 0-2 start in his UFC career, Wineland bounced back with a pair of wins last year. Barao just defended the belt in February, taking win number 30. His only taste of defeat was in his first professional fight in 2005.
The championship headlines UFC 161 on June 15 from the MTS Centre. It will mark the promotion’s debut in Winnipeg.