Escovedo-‘Barao’ Greenlit; 10 Bouts Official for UFC 130

By Mike Whitman May 3, 2011
A bantamweight matchup between former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo and once-beaten Brazilian Renan ‘Barao’ Pegado has been made official for UFC 130, the promotion announced Tuesday.

The fight card for the May 28 show is now nearly complete, as 10 fights have been ratified by the UFC. Additionally, a bantamweight affair between Michael McDonald and Chris Cariaso is in the works with verbal agreements in place. UFC 130 will go down at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be headlined by a lightweight title rematch between champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard.

Escovedo (Pictured) steps in on short notice to face Barao at the event, as the Brazilian was initially supposed to square off with Demetrious Johnson. However, Johnson was called up for pinch-hit duty when Brad Pickett went down with an injury prior to his bout with Miguel Torres. With Barao in need of a foe for May 28, Escovedo withdrew from his scheduled May 6 bout with Tommy Vargas at Tachi Palace Fights 9 to answer the UFC’s call.

Since returning to competition following a serious staph infection that forced him to temporarily take off his gloves in 2007, Escovedo has gone 6-2, earning victories in Tachi Palace Fights, Dream and Strikeforce along the way. Most recently, the 29-year-old rebounded from back-to-back defeats to earn a first-round submission victory over Steven Siler in January.

Barao rides an uncanny 25-fight win streak into his contest with Escovedo; the Brazilian has not tasted defeat since losing his 2005 MMA debut. Following a dominant run in his home country that saw him earn victories in Jungle Fight and Shooto Brazil, Barao notched back-to-back WEC wins in 2010. Like Escovedo, the 24-year-old Nova União fighter makes his UFC debut on May 28.

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