It looks like we may have seen the last of former bantamweight champion Renan Barao's days at 135 lbs. The top ranked fighter has apparently made the recent announcement on a Brazilian television program, that he will be making the move to featherweight. Notable fighter manager of Bellator's Pitbull brothers, Matheus Aquina reported the news on Twitter:
Renan Barao said on a local TV news that he's moving up to Featherweight and looking to fight in December— Matheus Aquino (@MatheusDCAquino) September 25, 2015
Most recently, Barao fought T.J. Dillashaw in title fight rematch, back in July on Fox. It was Barao's first title fight as a true challenger to an established champion in the UFC, having won his own title as a vacant interim belt against Urijah Faber (which was later promoted to the undisputed bantamweight title). The rematch against Dillashaw looked a lot like the first fight between the two, with Dillashaw controlling the action entirely from start to finish for a dominating TKO victory.
That may have been the final straw in what have been long standing calls from fans and analysts to see Barao try his hand up a division. Barao's weight cuts have been notably difficult at 135 pounds, at one point derailing a planned title fight against Dillashaw at the last moment, after Barao passed out in the shower while cutting weight. Hopefully he finds the process more comfortable at 145. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow as we'll be sure to keep you updated with more news as it becomes available.