The fights just keep coming for UFC 148, but this one is a bit odd. Renan Barao has established himself as a top five bantamweight and was considered a candidate to face the winner of the third Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber bout for the UFC bantamweight title. In the meantime though, he's facing an unranked fighter with just one UFC win. Here's the news from UFC.com:
Bantamweight Renan Barao has the greatest unbeaten streak in the sport -- a staggering 31 straight fights -- and he'll gun for another when he faces Jeff "Hellbound" Hougland at UFC 148. Unbeaten since 2003, Hougland is looking for his 10th straight victory and a spot in the upper rankings of the bantamweight division.
I guess the story is that they're both on long winning streaks? Okay, sure. Barao (28-1, 1 NC) is coming off an impressive win over Scott Jorgensen at UFC 143 last month, and has won all three of his UFC bouts to date. Hougland (10-4) picked up a decision win over Donny Walker in his only UFC fight to date back at UFC 132 in July.
Honestly, this looks a little bit like a showcase bout for Barao at first glance. No disrespect to Hougland, but Barao facing an unranked fighter at this stage has to be for a reason, right?