Cole EscovedoIt will almost be like coming home again for former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo when he makes his UFC debut in May against Renan Barao at UFC 130.

Verbal agreements are in place for Escovedo to step in and face Barao on the May 28 fight card set for Las Vegas, according to sources speaking to on Friday. initially reported the bout.

Escovedo (17-6) makes his first appearance in the UFC after a career that has seen him in several different promotions over the year, including a run as WEC champion.

Recently, Escovedo has fought in Japan as well as promotions like Tachi Palace Fights, and actually holds the only win over UFC bantamweight phenom Michael McDonald.

Now at 135 pounds, Escovedo had been campaigning on Twitter to get a slot on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, but he’ll get a shot straight to the Octagon instead.

Barao’s original opponent, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, was pulled from their fight to face Miguel Torres at UFC 130. The bout between Escovedo and Barao will remain on the preliminary portion of the show.

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