Renan Barao returns to bantamweight, faces Aljamain Sterling at UFC 214

Renan Barao is returning to the division where he was once champion.

The former bantamweight king is returning to 135-pounds for his next fight as he faces submission specialist Aljamain Sterling at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.

The new bout was announced on “UFC Tonight” on Wednesday.

Barao (34-4, 1 NC) was widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport while competing at bantamweight previously, but the brutal cut to get down to 135 pounds along with two devastating losses to T.J. Dillashaw forced his move up to featherweight.

Barao didn’t find as much success at 145-pounds going 1-1 over two fights before making the decision to get his body in order so he could return to the bantamweight division.

Sterling (13-2) will welcome him back to the division as he looks for a signature win over a former champion. Most recently, Sterling defeated Augusto Mendes in April and now he’ll look to add Barao to his resume when they meet in July.

UFC 214 will be headlined by light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier going up against former titleholder Jon Jones in the main event.