It looks like the issue of weight cutting in MMA has affected the sport more than ever today, as UFC No. 1 bantamweight contender Renan Barao has been forced out of his UFC 177 main event rematch against TJ Dillashaw at tomorrow night’s (August30, 2014) after becoming ill trying to make the division’s 135-pound weight limit.
The UFC confirmed the news about an hour before tonight’s UFC 177 weigh-ins.
It’s an extremely unfortunate set of circumstances for Barao, who had his belt taken by Dillashaw in a rousing upset at May’s UFC 173.
Relatively unknown bantamweight Joe Soto has stepped in to “headline” the quickly disappearing pay-per-view (PPV) card on short notice. He was supposed to take on Anthony Birchak in the FOX Sports 1 prelims, but now he’s found himself with a golden opportunity somehow.
Soto is a former Bellator champ, but hasn’t exactly had a ton of time to prepare for the surging Dillashaw.
He was supposed to take on Anthony Birchak in the FOX Sports 1 prelims, but now he’s found himself with a golden opportunity somehow.
Already suffering from star power, UFC 177’s buyrate should suffer dearly from the loss of Barao, which is undoubtedly the last thing the card needed.
After losing the previously scheduled co-main event title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso to UFC 178, UFC 177 will most likely go down as the worst UFC PPV in history, at least on paper.
More on the developing mess as it arises.
Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports