As expected, Renan Barao has been announced as the opponent who will face Urijah Faber for the UFC interim bantamweight champion.
On Friday evening's episode of The Ultimate Fighter Live, UFC President Dana White officially announced Renan Barao, 26-1 with 1 no-contest, will face Faber for the interim belt at UFC 148.
The fight card change comes on the heels of reigning UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz's knee injury, and subsequent withdrawal, in early May.
The owner of the longest unbeaten streak in mixed martial arts (27 fights without a loss), the Brazilian ‘Baron’ has stormed his way to the top of the UFC’s 135lbs division beating - in succession - Cole Escovedo, Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen.
"I'm very surprised to be the No.1 contender to now fight Urijah Faber but I'm so very excited to fight for the title and replace Dominick Cruz,” says Barao, 25.
“I'm very confident. I have been training a long time for this chance and I will be ready to go out there and put on a good show."
Faber comments, ““I’m just excited to have a new opponent. Now that I have someone to focus on and game plan, for it gets me motivated. [My training] will definitely change. [Cruz and Barao] are polar opposites.
“Barao is a guy that starts hard, and looks for the finish right away, but seems to fade a little bit as the fight goes on. Dominick is really tricky, has great conditioning and is always looking to out point in a longfight. I’m a good combination of those two put together, I’m dangerous and I thrive in long fights.”