May 21, 2013 10:57:53 PM
With Barao out, Henderson-Evans fill UFC 161 main event
UFC interim champ Renan Barao is injured and out of next month's UFC 161 event. With little time to find a suitable replacement, the night's co-feature betweenRashad Evans (17-3-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) and Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been promoted to headlining status.
UFC officials today made the change. Evans vs. Henderson remains a three-round bout.
UFC 161 takes place June 15 at MTS Centre in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Evans, who had won four straight fights after losing his title to Lyoto Machida in 2009, looks to end a two-fight losing streak after dropping back-to-back decisions to current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
The 33-year-old had flirted with the idea of a potential move down to middleweight in recent months but instead will face Henderson, who dropped a close split decision to Lyoto Machida this past month at UFC 157. The loss, which snapped a four-fight win streak and came after a 15-month injury layoff, likely cost the 42-year-old a title shot.
Barao looked to defend his interim title for a second time as champion Dominick Cruz recovers from a knee injury. Barao, who's won 30 straight fights (and five straight in the UFC), defended his interim belt for the first in February with a submission win over Michael McDonald.
His original opponent, Eddie Wineland, a former WEC champion, recently fought his way back into title contention with back-to-back wins over veterans Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett. Wineland's next move has yet to be announced.
With the loss of the Barao vs. Wineland contest, the UFC 161 main card has room for one more fight. It's currently unknown if UFC officials will secure a new opponent for Wineland or promote another contest from the evening's preliminary card.Source: www.mmajunkie.com
March 6, 2013 2:20:26 PM
Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland set for title fight at UFC 161
A title fight between interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao (30-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and former WEC bantamweight champ Eddie Wineland (20-8-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) will headline UFC 161.
Sources with knowledge of the planned bout told MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com) that it has been verbally agreed to on one side. ESPN initially tweeted news of the fight today while citing UFC President Dana White.
UFC officials later issued a formal announcement.
UFC 161 takes place June 15 at MPS Centre in Winnipeg and is the promotion's first visit to the Manitoba province in Canada. Already booked for the event are Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and Jake Shields-Tyron Woodley.
The UFC recently formalized those fights, and teased that a UFC 161 main event would be announced soon. However, additional sources told MMAjunkie.com that Barao, who just this past month fought Michael McDonald in London, was awaiting medical clearance following that fight, which he won with a fourth-round submission. Wineland, however, is good to go following his most recent win in December.
Barao beat Urijah Faber by unanimous decision in July to win the interim belt and run his unbeaten streak to 30 fights. He upped that number to 31 with his arm-triangle choke tap-out of McDonald this past month in UFC on FUEL TV 7's main event.
Wineland, who was the first 135-pound champion in WEC history, has won two straight fights and six of his past eight. Before coming to the UFC, he closed out his WEC career with four straight wins, including back-to-back "Knockout of the Night" performances against Will Campuzano and Ken Stone.
In his first fight in the UFC, he lost a unanimous decision to Faber, who went on to a title fight against Dominick Cruz. Wineland's next outing was another decision loss, this time to Faber teammate Joseph Benavidez. But with the two-fight skid, he rebounded with a "Fight of the Night" knockout of Scott Jorgensen this past June and a split-decision win over Brad Pickett at UFC 155 in December.
News of the interim title fight, though, apparently means the hoped-for timetable for champion Cruz's return to the octagon will be on the high end of the estimate, or perhaps longer. In December, it was announced that Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) needed a second knee surgery and the recovery time could be six to nine months.Source: www.mmajunkie.com