After just a few days of fight announcements, we have a main event for the upcoming UFC 161 card in Winnipeg's MTS Centre.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto has confirmed that the headliner will be a title fight starring none other than the promotion's interim bantamweight champion, Renan Barao:
This will be Barao's second defense of his interim title, following a successful first run against top contender Michael McDonald at UFC on Fuel 7 in London's Wembley Arena.
Before his bout with McDonald, Barao had caused a minor dust-up with UFC president Dana White by stating that he intended to wait for current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz to recover from a string of knee surgeries (via Bloody Elbow).
However, Cruz's timetable for a return to the Octagon is still uncertain, although White stated (via MMA Junkie) that the champion would likely have to retire before the UFC stripped him of his title.
With the latest fight announcement, here's the UFC 161 card as it stands:
• Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland
• Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans
• Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Maurício Rua
• Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley
• Soa Palelei vs. Stipe Miocic
Wineland, a former WEC champion, will enter the match coming off back-to-back wins against Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen, the latter being a "Fight of the Night" bonus winner from UFC on FX 3.
Barao aims to continue winning and eventually head toward a title unification bout with Cruz, as the interim champion currently rides an impressive 31-fight unbeaten streak—his only loss coming in his professional MMA debut over seven years ago.
Update: UFC Canada's official Twitter account has additionally confirmed Barao vs. Wineland as the UFC 161 main event. While the other matches on the pay-per-view have been reported, each have yet to be set in stone, so the card order will likely be set up in the coming weeks.
McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and tech writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld, PC World, 1UP, NVision, The Los Angeles Times, FightFans Radio, MMA Mania and Bleacher Report. Talk with him on Twitter.
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