Barao (34-7-0-1NC) enters the contest while in the midst of a three fight losing streak, dropping bouts to the trio of Aljamain Sterling, Brian Kelleher and Andre Ewell. Barao is a former UFC Bantamweight Champion, defeating Urijah Faber to win the gold at UFC 149 in July of 2012. Barao hasn’t picked up a victory in over two years, with that last win coming against Phillipe Nover at UFC Fight Night 95.
Sanders (12-3-0) has won just one of his last four bouts under the UFC banner and that lone win came over Patrick Williams at UFC On Fox 29. Sanders is also a former Resurrection Fighting Alliance Bantamweight Champion, defeating Terrion Ware to win the gold in May of 2015. Sanders has seen just four of his professional MMA fights go the distance and the fighter won all four of those encounters.
UFC Fight Night Phoenix takes place on Sunday, February 17 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on ESPN.