The main event spot at UFC 161 was left a mystery for less than a day after organization officials revealed interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao would put his gold up for grabs once again at the event while linear title-holder Dominick Cruz heals up from a series of serious knee injuries. Serving as Barao’s opponent in the bout will be Eddie Wineland, a divisional king at 135 bounds during his run in WEC.
Though not officially announced, ESPN confirmed the clash with UFC President Dana White. The June 15 card is also set to feature fights between Mauricio Rua-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Dan Henderson-Rashad Evans.
Barao defended his belt for the first time in February, choking out Michael McDonald at UFC on Fuel 7, and picked up his thirtieth straight win in the process as well. The brilliant Brazilian is 30-1 in his career with success against the likes of Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen, and Urijah Faber.
The 20-8-1 Wineland is coming off back-to-back wins over Pickett and Jorgensen. Fifteen of his victories have featured some form of finish with ten TKOs and five submissions to his credit.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC