It didn't take long for UFC 161 to gets its main event, and it's the interim bantamweight title fight. Renan Barao will defend his interim crown for a 2nd time, facing former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland on June 15th in Winnipeg. ESPN's Brett Okamoto confirmed with Dana White:
Just confirmed with Dana White, Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland booked to headline UFC 161 in June.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 6, 2013
Barao took the interim title by defeating Urijah Faber at UFC 149, but the long-term recovery of champion Dominick Cruz meant that Renan would have to defend his belt at least once. He did exactly that at UFC on Fuel 7 in London, submitting Michael McDonald in the 4th round of their main event fight. The 26-year-old Brazilian is undefeated in his last 31 professional fights, with his only defeat coming in his MMA debut.
Wineland (20-8-1) won the first ever WEC bantamweight title when he knocked out Antonio Banuelos, but his first defense against Chase Beebe was unsuccessful, as he lost by unanimous decision. More recently, the hard-hitting Texan had a highly entertaining 2012, KOing Scott Jorgensen -- making him the first man to do so -- in June and then earning a decision win over Brad Pickett at UFC 155. The Jorgensen win doubled as FOTN, and against Pickett he knocked down the Brit on multiple occasions in the opening round, and the split decision scorecard was certainly a head-scratcher. After Barao beat McDonald, Wineland tweeted that he wanted to face Barao next, and he got his wish.
Other fights confirmed or targeted for UFC 161 are: Dan Henderson against Rashad Evans, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira against Mauricio Rua, Stipe Miocic versus Soa Palelei, and Jake Shields versus Tyron Woodley.