Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao will make another attempt to get back on track and back down to 135 pounds against Brian Kelleher. The bout will be on the preliminary card of UFC on FOX 28, which takes place Feb. 24 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
Following a second defeat against T.J. Dillashaw, Barao moved up to featherweight. In his first bout at the new weight, he dropped a decision against Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 88. Barao then returned at UFC Fight Night 95 and picked up his first victory in nearly two years over Phillipe Nover. The Brazilian then tried to cut back down to bantamweight. However, the California State Athletic Commission insisted on a 140-pound catchweight. Barao went on to drop a decision against Aljamain Sterling.
Barao won the interim UFC bantamweight title in a bout against Urijah Faber in 2012. He defended that belt twice before being promoted to full champion in 2014. Barao made a final title defense against Faber at UFC 169 before losing the belt against Dillashaw at UFC 173.
Kelleher joined the UFC last year after putting together a six-fight winning streak on the independent circuit. In the Octagon, he went 2-1. During his run, he has picked up victories over Iuri Alcantara and Damian Stasiak. At UFC on FOX 25, he suffered his first loss since 2014 against Marlon Vera.
Three main card bouts have been announced for UFC on FOX 28. However, none of the bouts are expected to headline the event. In a women’s strawweight fight, Jessica Andrade will take on Tecia Torres. In a middleweight bout, Olympic medalist Yoel Romero returns against former WSOF champion Dave Branch. Also on the main card, Mike Perry will take on Max Griffin in a welterweight bout.