During Friday’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Live,” UFC president Dana White announced Urijah Faber (Pictured) will now face Renan Barao at UFC 148. Although the former WEC poster boy may have been issued a new assignment in the July 7th event, he’ll still be fighting for a bantamweight title – albeit an interim one.
Faber, who is currently coaching opposite Dominick Cruz on the reality show, was slated to challenge his archenemy for his 135-pound crown in the card’s co-featured attraction, but a knee injury forced Cruz out of their trilogy.
“The California Kid” was most recently seen submitting Brian Bowles this past November at UFC 139. Faber’s last four losses have come in championship affairs.
Barao was originally scheduled to face Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148. The Brazilian owns an impressive 28-1 (1 NC) résumé and hasn’t lost a fight since his professional debut in April of 2005.
“I’m very surprised to be the No.1 contender to now fight Urijah Faber, but I’m so very excited to fight for the title and replace Dominick Cruz,” Barao stated. “I’m very confident. I have been training a long time for this chance and I will be ready to go out there and put on a good show.”
White did not reveal Menjivar’s fate during tonight’s show.
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts the festivities.
Here is the event’s updated lineup:
Ivan Menjivar vs. TBD
Melvin Guillard vs. Fabricio Camoes
Gleison Tibau vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Shane Roller vs. John Alessio
Riki Fukuda vs. Constantinos Philippou
Demian Maia vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao (UFC Interim Bantamweight Title)
Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion)