UFC 173 officially has a new featured attraction. Bantamweight champion Renan Barao (pictured) will defend his crown against T.J. Dillashaw in the May 24 event.
USAToday reported the matchup late Thursday night.
The 135-pound affair replaces the middleweight title tilt between champ Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. Weidman was forced to withdraw earlier this week to undergo knee surgery. That tango was postponed to UFC 175.
Barao hasn’t lost a scrap since his professional debut in 2005. The Brazilian has gone 32 (1 NC) since dropping a decision to Joao Paulo Rodrigues de Souza.
He was last seen in February TKO’ing Urijah Faber at UFC 169.
Dillashaw earns his title shot on the heels of January’s decision win over Mike Easton. The Team Alpha Male-trained fighter lost a split decision to Raphael Assuncao in his prior outing.
Raphael Assuncao was under consideration to get the nod against Barao, but USAToday reports he is dealing with some lingering undisclosed injuries.
Dillashaw was initially slotted to face Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173. No word on who will now be Mizugaki’s new nemesis.
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts the festivities.
Here is the show’s revised roster:
(UFC Fight Pass 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
Li Jingliang vs. Danny Mitchell
Sam Sicilia vs. Doo Ho Choi
Piotr Hallman vs. Yves Edwards
(Fox Soprts 1 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Vinc Pichel vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mitch Clarke vs. Al Iaquinta
Chris Holdsworth vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Jamie Varner vs. James Krause
Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Takeya Mizugaki vs. TBD
Junior dos Santos vs. Stiple Miocic
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao (UFC bantamweight champion)