Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao will look to start afresh in the featherweight division when he takes on Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 88 on May 29th.
Not so long ago Barao was on top of the world, compiling a 33 fight unbeaten run as well as being firmly establishe as the 135lb weight classes champion in the UFC.
However, all things must come to an end and for Barao his winning streak was broken by TJ Dillashaw who dismantled the Brazilian to take the belt at UFC 173 in 2014, and then repeated the feat a year later, with both bouts ending by way of TKO.
So, the 29 year-old Barao now has to start picking up the pieces and hopefully go on a new winning streak, starting with this fight with Stephens at 145lbs.
It’s not the easiest first fight for the former title holder, with Stephens always being a tough competitor and currently holding down the No.9 spot on the divisional rankings.
That being said, ‘Lil’ heathen’ has been struggling to compile a winning run recently, losing three of his last four Octagon encounters. However, the standard of competition has been consistently high, with his defeats coming against other top talents like Max Holloway, Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson, while his sole win during that period came against another respected fighter, Dennis Bermudez.
So far Barao Vs Stephens is the only fight attached to UFC Fight Night 88 and the show hasn’t been tied down to a particular location either at this time.