Renan Barao has turned the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 135-pound weight class into his own personal playground.
Barao checked in at 135 pounds, as he prepares to defend his bantamweight crown against Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw (135) in the UFC 173 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Light heavyweight co-headliners Daniel Cormier (205) and Dan Henderson (199) also met their contracted weight requirements without issue at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Spawned by the Nova Uniao camp, Barao last appeared at UFC 169 in February, when he stopped Dillashaw’s mentor, Urijah Faber, on first-round punches at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The 27-year-old Brazilian will enter the cage on a 22-fight winning streak, which dates back to his December 2007 no-contest with Claudemir Souza. Barao has delivered 22 of his 32 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission and owns a perfect 7-0 record inside the Octagon.
Dillashaw has rattled off five wins in six appearances, a split decision loss to Raphael Assuncao the lone hiccup. The 28-year-old Californian last competed at UFC Fight Night “Rockhold vs. Philippou” in January, when he took a unanimous decision from Mike Easton at Gwinnett Arena in Duluth, Ga. A finalist on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Dillashaw has compiled a 5-2 mark since arriving in the UFC in December 2011.
UFC 173 “Barao vs. Dillashaw” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- will also feature a welterweight clash matching former EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler (171) with Jake Ellenberger (171), a bantamweight scrap pitting Takeya Mizugaki (135) against Francisco Rivera (135) and a lightweight battle pairing onetime World Extreme Cagefighting titleholder Jamie Varner (155) with James Krause (156).
Two hours prior, Fox Sports 1 will carry four preliminary bouts: Michael Chiesa (156) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (155), Tony Ferguson (155) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (155), Chris Holdsworth (135) vs. Chico Camus (135) and Al Iaquinta (155) vs. Mitch Clarke (155). The three remaining undercard matchups will stream to UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, as Anthony Njokuani (155) meets Vinc Pichel (155), Sam Sicilia (146) faces Aaron Phillips (146) and David Michaud (171) tackles Jingliang Li (170).
UFC 173 WEIGH-IN RESULTSRenan Barao (135) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (135)
Daniel Cormier (205) vs. Dan Henderson (199)
Robbie Lawler (171) vs. Jake Ellenberger (171)
Takeya Mizugaki (135) vs. Francisco Rivera (135)
Jamie Varner (155) vs. James Krause (156)
Michael Chiesa (156) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (155)
Tony Ferguson (155) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (155)
Chris Holdsworth (135) vs. Chico Camus (135)
Al Iaquinta (155) vs. Mitch Clarke (155)
Anthony Njokuani (155) vs. Vinc Pichel (155)
Sam Sicilia (146) vs. Aaron Phillips (146)
David Michaud (171) vs. Jingliang Li (170)