UFC 177 will have to go on without half of its scheduled main event.
Renan Barao was expected to battle T.J. Dillashaw for the UFC Bantamweight Championship, but the 27-year-old fighter has dropped out of the event, according to Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting:
Dave Sholler of UFC.com provides the latest details on the changes:
The Brazilian fighter has been one of the best fighters in the weight class for nearly 10 years while working his way to the title. Unfortunately, he came up short in his latest defense at UFC 173, as Dillashaw came through with a fifth-round knockout to earn the title.
Barao told Dave Doyle of Yahoo Sports that he simply lost focus in the first match: "I got too comfortable. Did I believe what they said about me? Maybe. I have become humble again."
While this rematch was one of the more highly anticipated battles of the year, it will apparently have to wait if it ever happens at all.
Instead, Soto will step in on Saturday with a huge opportunity to shock the world. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting provides a little background on the fighter:
The 27-year-old American has a 15-2 record in his MMA career. His last match was less than a month ago against Terrion Ware at TPF 20, which ended by third-round submission.
While an upset seems incredibly unlikely, it will certainly be a memorable 48 hours for the unknown fighter.
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