Renan Barao Out of UFC 177, Joe Soto Gets Last-Minute Title Shot Against T.J. Dillashaw

By Jeff Sherwood and Tristen Critchfield Aug 29, 2014
Tachi Palace Fights champ and former Bellator ace Joe Soto will go for gold in his UFC debut. | Jeff Sherwood/

UFC 177 already featured one of the most maligned pay-per-view lineups in promotion history. That was before Renan Barao dropped out of his bantamweight title rematch against T.J. Dillashaw on Friday afternoon.

According to a report from the Brazilian outlet Combate, Barao passed out while cutting weight on Friday and was taken to a Sacramento hospital. Not surprisingly, the Brazilian did not show up for licensing or medicals with the California State Athletic Commission. A source close to the bout told that Joe Soto will now get the 135-pound title shot against Dillashaw.

A little more than three weeks ago, Soto competed at Tachi Palace Fights 20, where he submitted Terrion Ware with a north-south choke in the third round. After the bout, the Californian lobbied for a shot in the Octagon.

His wish was granted less than a week later, as he was paired with Anthony Birchak in a preliminary bout at UFC 177. With Soto’s plans changing, Birchak will not compete on Saturday night. A five-time Bellator veteran, Soto enters his matchup with Dillashaw on a six-fight winning streak.

Dillashaw upset Barao at UFC 173 to capture the bantamweight strap. The Team Alpha Male standout is 6-2 in the Octagon, with his only losses coming at the hands of Raphael Assuncao and John Dodson.
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