Former UFC Bantamweight Champ Renan Barao reportedly moves to featherweight for May bout with Jeremy Stephens

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Renan Barao (photo credit Jason Silva © USA Today Sports)

Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao will be returning to action this May, as Combate in Brazil reports that he’ll move up to featherweight to face Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 88.

The May 29 event doesn’t have a location or venue as of yet, but it will likely air on Fox Sports 1.

Barao went unbeaten over a nine year stretch after a loss in his MMA debut, which included capturing the UFC Bantamweight Championship and defending it on three occasions. He then lost that title to T.J. Dillashaw in May of 2014, and found himself defeated again by that same man in the rematch last July after a win in between.

He’ll now move up to 145 lbs. for the first time in nearly a decade, and meets a longtime vet in Stephens. The 29-year-old Stephens has been fighting in the UFC for nearly nine years, both as a lightweight and a featherweight, and is 4-3 since dropping down to 145 lbs. Those three losses have all come in his last four fights, including a decision loss to Max Holloway in his most recent appearance in December.

[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]

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