Renan Barao may currently be down, but he is by no means out.
Shortly following his withdrawal from the UFC 161 main event, the interim bantamweight champion took to Twitter to reassure fans that he will return action as soon as his foot injury is fully healed.
“That's it, guys. Unfortunately I am out of UFC 161. But my injury is not as severe, and soon I'll be back. I would like to thank everyone [for their] support,” wrote Barao. “Thank you for [the] caring and concern. I'll come back even stronger. It's a pity, because I'm dying to train. [It] is a test of my will, but it is better to recover fully as soon as possible.”
Barao was supposed to square off with ex-WEC champion Eddie Wineland in the UFC 161 headliner, but top billing has now been given to Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans in light of Barao’s withdrawal. UFC 161 takes place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and will also see Antonio Rogerio Nogueira clash with Mauricio Rua in a rematch nearly eight years in the making.
Just 26 years old, Barao has already competed more than 30 times as a professional and has not lost since his debut back in 2005. The Nova Uniao ace joined the UFC two years ago and rifled off a trio of victories before outpointing Urijah Faber to win the interim bantamweight belt last July. Barao most recently defended that title for the first time against young gun Michael McDonald, submitting the Californian with a fourth-round arm-triangle choke this past February at UFC on Fuel TV 7.