T.J. Dillashaw will rematch Renan Barao on April 25. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
A bantamweight title rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao will headline UFC 186 in Montreal.
TheUFC announced the pairing on Saturday. In addition, a pivotal welterweight showdown pitting Rory MacDonald against Hector Lombard will serve as the evening’s co-main event. UFC 186 takes place at the Bell Centre on April 25 and airs on pay-per-view.
Dillashaw upset Barao at UFC 173 to capture the bantamweight crown, ending the Brazilian’s 22-fight winning streak via technical knockout in the fifth round. Their rematch was supposed to take place at UFC 177, but weight-cutting issues forced Barao to withdraw at the last minute. Instead, Dillashaw retained his belt with a victory over fill-in Joe Soto.
Barao, meanwhile, returned to action on Dec. 20, submitting Mitch Gagnon with an arm-triangle choke 3:53 into the third round of their bout at UFC Fight Night “Machida vs. Dollaway.” The Nova Uniao standout has only lost twice in 36 professional appearances.
MacDonald was originally thought to be next in line for a 170-pound title shot, but now it appears that the division’s No. 1 contender could emerge from his bout against Lombard or Johny Hendricks-Matt Brown at UFC 185. MacDonald has won three straight within the Las Vegas-based promotion, knocking off Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine in succession.
After a rough start to his Octagon tenure in which he lost two of his first three fights, Lombard has righted the ship in impressive fashion. The Cuban judoka dropped to welterweight following a split-decision loss to Yushin Okami in March 2013 and has rattled off consecutive triumphs over Nate Marquardt, Jake Shields and Josh Burkman in his last three outings.