UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao has reportedly suffered a foot injury that may prevent him from defending his title next month at UFC 161.
Brazilian outlet Tatame.com initially reported the news Saturday evening. According to MMAJunkie.com, Barao has a medical exam scheduled for Monday, at which point a final determination will be made about his ability to fight.
UFC 161 takes place at MTS Centre in Winnipeg and marks the UFC’s first trip to the province of Manitoba. It is currently unknown if challenger Eddie Wineland will remain on the bill in the event that Barao is indeed pulled from the main event. The pay-per-view card also see Mauricio Rua rematch Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, while Dan Henderson locks horns with Rashad Evans.
Barao, 26, has not lost since his pro debut back in 2005. The hard-hitting Brazilian captured the UFC interim bantamweight title by outpointing Urijah Faber last year and has thus far defended the strap once successfully, submitting young gun Michael McDonald with an arm-triangle choke on Feb. 16 at UFC on Fuel TV 7.
Wineland, 28, has won back-to-back fights after falling in consecutive outings in 2011. The first World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight king, Wineland kicked off 2012 with a second-round knockout of highly regarded Scott Jorgensen and most recently bested Brad Pickett on Dec. 29, taking a split verdict from “One Punch” at UFC 155.