(Barao puts one upside Faber’s head at UFC 149. Photo via Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)
The interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and challenger Michael McDonald will go down at UFC on FUEL 7, February 16th at London’s Wembley Arena. UFC UK confirmed the news earlier today, and revealed a crop of supporting fights. They are…
- Paul Sass vs. Danny Castillo (LW): The British two-trick pony took his first career loss against Matt Wiman in September, while Team Alpha Male member Castillo had a three-fight win streak snapped in October when he was KO’d by Michael Johnson.
- Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte (LW): Inactive since becoming a permanent part of Edson Barboza’s highlight reel in January, Etim returns from injuries to face TUF Brazil castmember Renee Forte, who just suffered his first official UFC loss when he was submitted by Sergio Moraes at UFC 153.
- Andy Ogle vs. Josh Grispi (FW): Grispi is on a three-fight losing streak, while TUF: Live castmember Ogle lost his official UFC debut in a decision against Akira Corassani in September. Oh, you bet your ass it’s “win or go home” time.
- Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka (BW): British bantamweight Vaughan Lee is 1-2 in the Octagon, most recently eating a submission loss against TJ Dillashaw in July. Tezuka is a Pancrase vet who lost his UFC debut at UFC Macao in a split-decision against Alex Caceres.
- Phil Harris vs. Ulysses Gomez (FlyW): The first UFC flyweight match to be held in Europe (true story!), British vet Phil Harris was submitted by Darren Uyenoyama during his UFC debut in October, while former Tachi Palace Fights flyweight champ Ulysses Gomez was knocked out by John Moraga during his own debut in August.
As previously reported, welterweights Matt Riddle and Che Mills will also be squaring off on the card, which marks the UFC’s first London trip since “Bisping vs. Akiyama” in October 2010. But if you were paying attention, you’d notice that all ten fighters in the newly-announced fights listed above are coming off losses. And although the main event will feature a pair of amazing fighters in a competitive matchup, it’s not exactly a blockbuster fight in terms of star power. (At this point, I’d call Renan Barao the fourth-most famous bantamweight on the UFC’s roster, after Ronda Rousey, Urijah Faber, and champion Dominick Cruz, in that order.) So…condolences, London.
Will you care enough to watch this card, or are we giving UFC on FUEL 7 early “garbage ass” status?