Dillashaw gets his chance at bantamweight gold on May 24. | Dave
173 has a new main event.
Bantamweight champion Renan Barao
will defend his strap against T.J.
Dillashaw at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 24.
UFC President Dana White first confirmed the booking to
MMAJunkie.com on Thursday night. The news comes just three days
Weidman withdrew from card’s original main event against
Machida to undergo knee surgery.
UFC 173 main card airs on pay-per-view and also features a
heavyweight co-headliner pitting Junior dos
Santos against Stipe
Miocic. Dillashaw was originally scheduled to face Takeya
Mizugaki on the main card, but a replacement foe for the
Japanese bantamweight has yet to be announced.
Unbeaten in his last 33 professional appearances, Barao captured
the promotion’s interim bantamweight crown by taking a unanimous
decision over Urijah Faber
at UFC 149. After a pair of successful title defenses against
McDonald and Eddie
Wineland, Barao was set to unify the belt with a matchup
Cruz at UFC 169. However, a groin tear forced Cruz to pull out
of the fight and vacate his title, making Barao the undisputed
135-pound king. The Brazilian then stopped Faber inside of a round
in the new UFC 169 main event.
Dillashaw, meanwhile, has won five of six bouts since falling to
Dodson at “The Ultimate Fighter 14” finale. Most recently, the
Team Alpha Male product scored a one-sided unanimous verdict over
Easton at UFC Fight Night 35. Dillashaw’s only loss during that
time came at the hands of Raphael
Assuncao, who was expected to be named the bantamweight No. 1
contender. Multiple outlets have reported that Assuncao would not
be ready to compete in May due to injury issues.