The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) recently ruled that former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao would fight at a catchweight of 140 pounds at UFC 214.
This decision was based upon the fact that Barao missed weight during his initial stint in the bantamweight division.
According to Barao’s trainer in Jair Lourenco, the fight almost got canceled due to Barao’s UFC 214 opponent in Aljamain Sterling, not the CSAC’s ruling.
“We heard about this three weeks ago,” Lourenco told MMA Fighting. “At first, when I heard, I didn’t even tell Barao because he was focused on his training, but we thought it wouldn’t be a problem. But when (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby offered Sterling a (140-pound catchweight), he asked for more money. We didn’t know if the fight was still on or if they were going to change the date or the opponent, but Sean said he would try to make the fight. The UFC had no obligation to pay (Sterling) because that’s a commission’s decision. The commission wants to protect Barao’s health, and I understand that. At first we didn’t like it, but thinking about his health, we understand it."
Oddly enough, it was Sterling who first made mention of the CSAC’s ruling with Barao, not Barao or any member of his team.
Now Barao is even more angry with Sterling for the digs that the fighter has taken against him through social media.
“Barao was pissed at Sterling, not at the commission, because he was saying he’d fight at any weight, but that’s not true,” Lourenco said. “He was asking for more money. When he posted that, Sean had already offered us another date and another country (UFC 215 in Edmonton, Canada, on Sept. 9). We were talking to Barao, and this guy posts that? He’s trying to say that Barao was the problem, but he was the problem because he asked for more money."
UFC 214 takes place on Saturday, July 29 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.
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