Renan Barao moves to 145 pounds, meets Jeremy Stephens in May

Published Mar. 17, 2016 2:51 p.m. ET

Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao will leave the 135-pound division to move up to featherweight for his next fight against knockout artist Jeremy Stephens at a UFC Fight Night event expected on May 29.

Sources close to the matchup confirmed the fight to FOX Sports on Thursday following an initial report from Combate in Brazil. UFC officials have made no announcement about the fight as of yet.

The card on May 29 has not been announced or confirmed by the UFC, but it's expected to be a new show added to the calendar in 2016.

Barao moves to 145 pounds following a long title reign at bantamweight that was ended with a pair of losses to T.J. Dillashaw.

Barao has faced notoriously tough weight cuts to get down to 135 pounds over the years, and his rematch with Dillashaw in 2014 was actually scrapped after he passed out due to extreme weight cutting ahead of their fight.

Now Barao moves up to featherweight for a new start on his career, but he'll have a tough test in his debut.

Stephens is well known for having some of the most vicious punching power in the featherweight division, and he'll look to add a former champion to his win column when he faces Barao in May.


As of now, Barao and Stephens are the first fight mentioned for the rumored card on May 29, but it's likely with this bout now being revealed that more details about the show will follow shortly.