Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will have a new chance to recover from his current bad phase.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the Brazilian is headed to the upcoming Phoenix, Arizona card, in February, to take on fellow struggling bantamweight Luke Sanders.
Business really picking up for UFC Phoenix on 2/17 since the 233 cancelation. My colleague @bokamotoESPN tweeted out a couple fights, and I’m told UFC is also targeting Luke Sanders vs. Renan Barao for that card, too. Not quite finalized but that’s the plan.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 13, 2018
On a three-fight losing skid to the likes of Aljamain Sterling, Brian Kelleher and, most recently, Andre Ewell, Renan Barao (34-4-1 NC) hasn’t won a fight in two years. His latest win dates back to September 2016, when the 32-year-old defeated Phillipe Nover via unanimous decision.
Back from a submission loss to Rani Yahya in August 2018, Luke Sanders (12-3) could be in danger of getting cut with another defeat. Before his last outing, the 33-year-old a decision win over Patrick Williams, but, prior to that, he was on a two-fight losing skid with losses to Andre Soukhamthath and Iuri Alcantara.
Renan Barao is expected to take on Luke Sanders at UFC on ESPN 1, on February 17, in Phoenix, Arizona. So far, no main event has been announced for the card yet, but notable fights on that event include Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling, James Vick vs. Paul Felder, and Cynthia Calvillo vs. Cortney Casey.