Renan Barao left the UFC and MMA fans around the world in stunned silence Friday when he was forced to pull out of a planned title fight with T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177.
After attempting to cut down to 135 pounds for the main event, Barao suffered complications and was deemed unfit to compete. His spot went to Joe Soto, and now, the Brazilian faces an uphill climb back to the title he once wore.
“This was his shot,” UFC president Dana White said in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “He was getting his rematch. Now, Dillashaw is going to fight (tonight). If he wins, he moves on to the next guy, and Barao will fight somebody else when he’s ready to come back.”
Barao (32-2) lost for the first time inside the Octagon this past May when he was stopped by Dillashaw. The 27-year-old cuts a lot of weight prior to weigh-ins, and White believes he might need to look at making a change moving forward.
Jose Aldo, a teammate of Barao’s and the current featherweight champion, has discussed moving up to lightweight. The two have not appeared set on ever fighting against one another.
“Maybe that’s another option (for Barao),” White said. “And if he doesn’t want to fight Aldo, then Aldo goes to 155 and fights (Anthony) Pettis.”
In an episode of “UFC Embedded” that was released earlier this week, Barao is shown stepping on a scale that reads well over 150 pounds. It was not made known how much weight he had cut prior to having issues.
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