Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao has decided to leave the division he once had a strangle hold on. It was announced today that after much speculation Barao will be moving up and competing in the featherweight division. His first opponent will be number 11th ranked Jeremy Stephens. The bout will take place on a Fight Night card to be held on May 29.
Barao (33-3) was at one time considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world but after two disappointing performances against TJ Dillashaw, the former champion has decided the weight cut to 135-pounds was no longer worth the effort.
Barao has had weight cutting issues in the past most notably back at UFC 177 when the Brazilian native was admitted to the hospital after suffering complications due to his weight cut.
The former champion will be facing Jeremy Stephens (24-12) who dropped down to featherweight from the lightweight division in 2013. After winning his first three bouts at 145-pounds, Stephens has only one win in his last four bouts.