UFC 161 will go down tonight in Winnipeg without Renan Barao competing as originally scheduled, but the good news is that the bantamweight interim champ says he he’s recovered and its time to book him a bout. The 26 year-old fighter, who was scheduled to fight Eddie Wineland until he was forced to withdraw due to a foot injury, recently told Dana White by Twitter:
Hello @danawhite@ufc! I’m back and I’m very excited to fight again. You can schedule my new fight now. I’m 100%. And could be in Brasil…
Wineland the proceed to respond to the renowned bantamweight by tweeting:
I’m ready if you are @RenanBaraoUFC come on over to Milwaukee and we will get it done! Glad to hear ur ankle is better!
Of course, Milwaukee is set to host UFC 164 on August 31st, but already has several main card bouts booked including the headliner between lightweight champ Benson Henderson and TJ Grant. In terms of Brazil, the UFC will return to the South American nation on August 3rd for UFC 163, which will feature featherweight champ Jose Aldo taking on Chan Sung Jung.
Then, later on, Barao told Wineland that it didn’t really matter to him where they fight, by saying “Milwaukee, Brazil, UK, Canada, Natal… Anywhere!!”
What could determine when and if a Barao-Wineland bout takes place, is when reigning bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz is ready to return, who hasn’t fought now since 2011 due to two knee surgeries. Cruz recently announced that he’s been cleared to spar, so his long awaited return could take place somewhat soon.