The California State Athletic Commission has refused to grant Renan Barao a license to compete at 135 pounds at UFC 214.
However, his bout against Aljamain Sterling has not been canceled. Instead, it will take place at a 140-pound catch-weight, CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster confirmed to Sherdog.com on Wednesday. FloCombat.com was the first to report on the situation. UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on July 29 and is headlined by a light heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones.
Barao’s issues date back to his proposed bantamweight title rematch with T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177, which took place at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 30, 2014. A bad weight cut forced Barao to pull out of the fight at the last minute, and Joe Soto, who was on the preliminary card, stepped in on short notice to face Dillashaw. Soto would lose via fifth-round knockout.
"Do you remember UFC 177, the one over here in Sacramento? The last time we had to regulate Mr. Barao at 135, it didn't turn out so good," Foster told FloCombat.com. "He didn't make it to the fight. Our doctors and our commission staff, we are certainly not against the fight [vs. Sterling]. We're happy with the fight. Just not at 135. Now, if Mr. Barao makes 140 no problem and everything's good, in the future if he wants to fight at 135, we can revisit that.”
Sterling, who is coming off a decision win over Augusto Mendes at UFC on Fox 24, addressed the situation on his Instagram page.
“Looks like the commission is making the weight cut easier for Barao. Bantamweight, featherweight, or catchweight, it doesn't matter to me!” Sterling wrote. “Either way the commission isn't gonna stop me from putting this guy on his back and dropping some hellbows on his face! Let’s see who wants this s--t more!!! YOU HAD YOUR TIME!! É a minha vez!”
Barao would compete twice more at bantamweight after the UFC 177 debacle, submitting Mitch Gagnon in the third round at UFC Fight Night 58 before falling to Dillashaw via fourth-round TKO in a rematch at UFC on Fox 16. The Brazilian then briefly moved to featherweight, where he lost a decision to Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 88 before outpointing Phillipe Nover at UFC Fight Night 95.
Looks like the commission is making the weight cut easier for Barão Bantamweight, featherweight, or catchweight, it doesn't matter to me! Either way the commission isn't gonna stop me from putting this guy on his back and dropping some hellbows on his face! Lets see who wants this shit more!!! YOU HAD YOUR TIME!! É a minha vez! --- #ufc214 #HumanAnaconda #ProtectYaNeck #PTP #grind #lifestyle #STRONGISLAND #ny #anaheim #cali #funkjitsu #happyhumpday #sooncome!