Bryan Barberena Steps In To Replace Daniel Rodriguez vs. Gunnar Nelson At UFC 286

Daniel Rodriguez is out of his UFC 286 fight with Gunnar Nelson on March 18th in London, England for as-yet undisclosed reasons, but the promotion already have a suitable opponent lined up to replace him.

Bryan Barberena has agreed to take the fight against Nelson on a little under three weeks notice as he looks to bounce back from a submission loss to Rafael dos Anjos via rear-naked choke back in December.

Before that the 33-year-old Barberena had been on a three-fight winning streak, during which he’d picked up back-to-back ‘Fight Of The Night’ awards after beating UFC veterans Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler.

Now Barberena goes up against the 34-year-old Nelson, who has only fought once in the past three-and-a-half years, returning in March of 2022 to pick up a unanimous decision win over Takashi Sato. That ended a run of two losses dating back to 2019 when he came out on the wrong end of the scorecards against a future champion in Leon Edwards and future title contender in Gilbert Burns.

Barberena vs. Nelson takes place at a UFC 286 event that will be headlined by a welterweight title rematch between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman, while Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev and Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze also feature on the pay-per-view main card.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.