UFC News: Former UFC champion changing division after losing four consecutive fights
- Will this mark the beginning of a much-needed resurgence?
As initially revealed by Combate, Renan Barao will move up to the Featherweight division for his upcoming fight against Douglas Silva de Andrade at UFC Fight Night 164 on November 16th in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Barao will be returning to the Featherweight division for the first time since 2016.
The rise and fall of Renan Barao
Considered to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters during his peak, Barao rose to become the undisputed king of the Bantamweight division after joining UFC in the aftermath of the company's merger with WEC in 2010.
The Brazilian went on to win the interim Bantamweight title from Urijah Faber and defended it twice before being promoted as the undisputed champion.
He successfully defended the title against Faber in their second meeting and looked on course to become one of the all-time greats in UFC history.
He then came across TJ Dillashaw, who defeated him in UFC 173 in 2014 to become the new champion. And thus began the downfall of Renan Barao. The loss to Dillashaw was Barao's first defeat following 33 consecutive wins.
Barao has won only two out of his last eight fights since dropping the title to Dillashaw and is currently on a four-fight losing streak.
He last competed against Luke Sanders in February and got knocked out in the second round. Barao's last fight at the 145 lbs division happened in May 2016 when he lost via unanimous decision to Jeremy Stephens.
Barao also missed weight by two pounds in his last Bantamweight encounter and was fined 20% of his fight purse.
What's next for Renan Barao?
The 32-year-old's issues with cutting weight have forced him to move up a weight class and his first test upon his return to the Featherweight division will be against fellow Brazilian fighter Douglas Silva de Andrade (25-3-1). Douglas Silva last fought against Petr Yan and lost via TKO at UFC 232 in December 2018.
The fight is expected to take place at Fight Night 164 inside the Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The card will be headlined by a Light Heavyweight fight between Jan Blachowicz and Ronaldo Souza.
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