Disaster has struck at UFC 177 in Sacramento as main event fighter and former bantamweight champion Renan Barao has been forced out of his bout against T.J. Dillashaw just 24 hours away from their scheduled bout.
Reports started to trickle out prior to the UFC 177 weigh-ins taking place on Friday at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento that Barao fell ill while cutting weight and was forced to withdraw from the headline bout.
In his place, UFC 177 undercard fighter Joe Soto has accepted the bout and will face Dillashaw in the new main event for Saturday night’s card in Sacramento. UFC officials confirmed the change on Friday at the UFC 177 weigh-ins.
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Soto was already competing on the undercard against Anthony Birchak, but obviously that fight has been scrapped and the first time UFC fighter will be competing for the bantamweight title on 24 hours notice.
Soto is an experienced title fight as a former Bellator champion, but he’s never fought in the UFC previously and now he steps into a title fight against the best bantamweight in the world for his debut.
UFC 177 will now move forward with eight bouts in total with the new main event pitting Dillashaw vs. Soto with the bantamweight belt on the line.