Renan Barao will get an opportunity to close out 2014 with a win, as the former UFC bantamweight champ has been scheduled to face the surging Mitch Gagnon.
The UFC has announced that the fight will be part of the December 20th, Fight Night card in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Barao (32-2) will be looking to get back on track, after what’s been a disastrous year thus far for the Nova Uniao star. In May, the 27 year-old had his 33 fight undefeated streak snapped by TJ Dillashaw, who stopped him in the fifth round to secure the 135 title.
Due to his remarkable run, and his status as one of the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighters, Barao was booked for an immediate rematch in August. The Brazilian fell ill while cutting weight, reportedly hit his head, and was pulled from UFC 177 the day before (and received a ton of heat from the UFC as well).
Gagnon (12-2), has somewhat quietly gone about cracking the promotion’s top 15 rankings (he’s #15), by winning four straight fights. The 30 year-old fought at UFC FN 54 earlier this month, and tapped out Roman Salazar in the first round. Three of Gagnon’s Octagon wins have come via submission, and the only man to defeat him thus far in the UFC is fellow contender Bryan Caraway.
So, UFC FN 58 has clearly gotten more interesting with this addition. Nearly everyone and their dog will be picking Barao to win, but Gagnon’s looked impressive in his last few outings and could present some problems for the renowned fighter.
In the main event, Lyoto Machida is set to fight fellow middleweight contender CB Dollaway.
Other bouts that have been booked for the December 20th card so far include Patrick Cummins vs. Antonio Carlos Jr., Igor Pokrajac vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Charlie Brenneman vs. Leandro Silva, Rashid Magomedov vs. Elias Silverio, and Leandro Issa vs. Yuta Sasaki.