This news broke that UFC Middle champion Chris Weidman due to a knee injury would not be defending the title against Lyoto Machida in the Main event of UFC 173. The promotion has announce that a title will still be on thew line but now it’s the Bantamweight title.
The New UFC 173 main event will see Nova Uniao’s Renan Barao (32-1) make his 2nd Bantamweight title defense this time against Team Alpha Males TJ Dillashaw (9-2).
Barao in his last 4 fight has defeated Urijah Faber to win the interim Bantamweight title. Barao would then defend the belt twice submitting Michael McDonald, stopping Eddie Wineland by TKO. Most recently Barao stopped Urijah Faber by TKO in his first successful title defense as the full UFC Bantamweight champion.
Since a TKO loss to John Dodson in the TUF 14 Bantamweight finals, Dillashaw has won 5 of 6 fight including a 4 fight win streak; that saw Dillashaw KO Issei Tamura and TKO Hugo Viana. Following a split decision loss to Raphael Assuncao, Dillashaw soundly handed Mike Easton a unanimous decision loss, for his most recent victory.
It’s also worth noting that if not for a rib injury Assuncao would have been grated this title match instead of Dillashaw.
Dillashaw had previously been announced to compete at UFC 173 against Takeya Mizugaki (19-7-2) who will instead take on Franciso Rivera. Mizugaki is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nam Phan that pushes his current streak of wins to 4. Rivera is undefeated in his last 6 bouts, with TKO’s of Edwin Figueroa and George Roop coming on the heels of a TKO of Roland Delorme being overturned to a no contest.
A main card Welterweight bout has also encountered a change with Tarec Saffiedine (15-3) being injured, Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger (29-7) will instead tangle with “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (22-10). Ellenberger looks to rebound off a lackluster decision loss to Roy MacDonald, ending a 2 fight win streak; that saw “The Jaggernaut” decision Jay Hieron and knock out Nate Marquardt. Lawler is coming off of losing to Johny Hendricks in the vacant Welterweight title main event of UFC 171, that ended a 3 fight win streak.
UFC 173 takes place on May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.