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Urijah Faber vs. Francisco Rivera, Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon Booked for December UFC Cards


(Barao prepares to unleash another super uncomfortable victory celebration on poor, poor humanity. / Photo via Getty)

Two of the biggest names in the UFC’s bantamweight division will be back in action this December. First up, Urijah Faber — who still hasn’t lost a non-title fight, ever — will compete at UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II (December 6th, Las Vegas) against Francisco Rivera. UFC officials confirmed the matchup last night.

Faber is coming off his submission victory over Alex Caceres at UFC 175 in July, while Rivera most recently lost a decision to Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173, snapping a two-fight win streak. I’m not exactly sure how this booking makes sense, but the opportunity to watch Faber strangle somebody just outside the top ten is the kind of gift that you don’t question.

In other booking news, former 135-pound champ Renan Barao goes back to being a regular-joe contender, when he fights Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58: Machida vs. Dollaway (December 20th; Barueri, Brazil); the booking was also confirmed last night.

Barao was supposed to rematch TJ Dillashaw at UFC 177, but then passed out during his weight cut, and was pulled from the event and publicly shamed. Barao will have a chance to redeem himself against Gagnon, a Canadian up-and-comer who has won his last four (although against a relatively low level of competition).

So: Easy wins for the big names, or do you smell an upset cookin’?

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