UFC president Dana White was just sitting down to lunch on Friday afternoon when his phone started ringing and he noticed that co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta was on the line giving him a call. When he answered, Fertitta immediately asked if White had heard anything about former bantamweight champion Renan Barao dropping out of his main event bout at UFC 177 against T.J. Dillashaw.
White shut down Fertitta and said he must be confused because the fighter that missed weight on Friday and was pulled from the show was former Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo. Five minutes later, Fertitta called back and told White that not only had Cejudo been pulled, but Barao had also gotten sick while cutting weight on Friday and he was being yanked from the main event.
Needless to say, White’s lunch didn’t end well.
"He was cutting weight and he fainted. He fainted and they got freaked out and they did the right thing and they called an ambulance to come get him," White told FOX Sports about Barao on Friday.
Barao has always been a big fighter for 135-pounds, but hasn’t missed weight in any of his previous fights in the UFC. He’s been able to cut down to the necessary limit in all of his title fights as well, which actually require Barao and any other title contender to hit the mark at 135-pounds exactly without any room for margin.
White obviously hopes Barao is doing alright health wise, but this is a problem that could have been prevented with proper dieting and weight cutting in the days leading up to the fight. The onus falls back on Barao and his team to ensure the Brazilian has all the tools necessary to cut weight the right way and make sure disasters like what happened on Friday won’t happen again.
"First of all you’ve got enough money to get a real nutritionist in there to see what you’re eating, guys got to start doing this the right way to make weight or move to 145 and have (Jose) Aldo move up to 155, because both of them don’t cut weight that great," White stated.
Barao is obviously going to be upset about the fact that he had to back out of the fight just 24 hours away from the chance to regain the belt he lost to Dillashaw three months ago. Even worse, when he returns he won’t be fighting for the gold.
White revealed that Barao’s error, which cost the UFC the main event for Saturday night, will also cost the Brazilian his title shot.
"He won’t get a title fight after this," White said about Barao.
Barao was taken from his hotel to the local hospital where he was given electrolytes to help rebuild his system after the extreme dehydration suffered during his weight cut. There’s been no official word about his health following the fainting spell, but all signs are that he will recover with no long term damage to his body.