UFC officials have tabbed a new championship fight to fill the headline void for UFC 173, as Renan Barao will defend his bantamweight title against T.J. Dillashaw.
The championship match replaces a planned encounter between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida for the middleweight belt. The card is set for May 24 from Las Vegas.
Barao (32-1) has won all seven of his Octagon appearances, including recent wins over Michael McDonald and Urijah Faber. He became the undisputed champion when Dominick Cruz was stripped of the belt.
Dillashaw (9-2) has posted a 5-2 mark since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. He was defeated by Raphael Assuncao in late 2013, but Assuncao was unable to take the title fight with Barao due to injuries.
“Time for my dreams to come true!” Dillashaw posted on Twitter after the announcement.
MMAjunkie.com first reported news of the fight. The fight announcement also brought a change to another main card bout, as Francisco Rivera has been tabbed to replace Dillashaw and meet Takeya Mizugaki.
Below is the current lineup:
MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)
UFC Bantamweight Championship
Renan Barao (c) vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Heavyweight: Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
Bantamweight: Francisco Rivera vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Lightweight: Jamie Varner vs. James Krause
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 p.m. ET)
Lightweight: Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Bantamweight: Chris Holdsworth vs. Kyung-Ho Kang
Lightweight: Al Iaquinta vs. Mitch Clarke
Lightweight: Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)
Lightweight: Piotr Hallman vs. Yves Edwards
Featherweight: Sam Sicilia vs. Doo Ho Choi
Welterweight: Jingliang Li vs. Danny Mitchell