Barao may currently be down, but he is by no means out.
Shortly following his withdrawal from the UFC
161 main event, the interim bantamweight champion took to
Twitter to reassure fans that he will return action as soon as his
foot injury is fully healed.
“That's it, guys. Unfortunately I am out of UFC 161. But my injury
is not as severe, and soon I'll be back. I would like to thank
everyone [for their] support,” wrote Barao. “Thank you for [the]
caring and concern. I'll come back even stronger. It's a pity,
because I'm dying to train. [It] is a test of my will, but it is
better to recover fully as soon as possible.”
Barao was supposed to square off with ex-WEC champion Eddie
Wineland in the UFC 161 headliner, but top billing has now been
given to Dan
Henderson and Rashad
Evans in light of Barao’s withdrawal. UFC 161 takes place at
the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and will also see Antonio
Rogerio Nogueira clash with Mauricio Rua
in a rematch nearly eight years in the making.
Just 26 years old, Barao has already competed more than 30 times as
a professional and has not lost since his debut back in 2005. The
Nova Uniao ace joined the UFC two years ago and rifled off a trio
of victories before outpointing Urijah Faber
to win the interim bantamweight belt last July. Barao most recently
defended that title for the first time against young gun Michael
McDonald, submitting the Californian with a fourth-round
arm-triangle choke this past February at UFC on Fuel TV 7.