Bantamweights slated for July 7 bout at MGM Grand
A pair of streaking bantamweights will meet when the UFC holds its annual Independence Day weekend card in Las Vegas.
Renan Barao and Doug Hougland will square off on July 7. The UFC announced the bout Monday. The pay-per-view will take place July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and will be preceded by a UFC Fan Expo, which will take place at Mandalay Bay.
UFC 148 is expected to feature a bantamweight title fight between champion Dominick Cruz and challenger Urijah Faber upon the completion of their coaching stints on the current season of “The Ultimate Fighter LIVE” on FX. On Monday, the UFC also announced a middleweight fight between Michael Bisping and Tim Boetsch for the card. And on Sunday, it was announced former UFC champion Rich Franklin and former Strikeforce champ Cung Le would meet.
Barao (28-1, 1 NC, 3-0 UFC) is on one of the most impressive winning streaks in MMA history. The Brazilian has not lost since his first pro fight, a split decision setback in April 2005. Since then, he has gone 29 fights without a loss – 28 wins and one no contest. Barao joined the WEC in 2010, winning his first two fights there by submission before joining the UFC in the merger of the two promotions.
In the UFC, Barao has gone 3-0 with decision wins over Cole Escovedo and Scott Jorgensen, which came at UFC 143 last month. And his first-round submission of Brad Pickett at UFC 138 was a Fight of the Night winner. Barao trains with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at Nova Uniao in Brazil.
Hougland (10-4, 1-0 UFC) has a 10-fight winning streak, made all the more impressive considering his MMA career started just 1-4. Hougland made his UFC debut at UFC 132 last July with a unanimous decision win over Donny Walker. He was expected to make his follow-up against Mike Easton at UFC on Versus 6 in October, but an injury forced him off the show – meaning his second UFC appearance will be a year after his debut.
Like Barao, who has 13 of his 28 career wins by submission, Hougland is a tapout specialist and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Seven of his 10 career wins have come by submission.