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Former champ Renan Barao meets Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Renan Barao will have one last chance to close out 2014 on a high note, as the embattled former UFC bantamweight champion is slated to meet Mitch Gagnon on Dec. 20 at UFC Fight Night 58, promotion officials announced Wednesday.

The bout will be Barao's first since his stunning and lopsided fifth-round TKO loss to T.J. Dillashaw in late-May. At the time, Barao (32-2, 1 NC) was riding a 33-fight unbeaten streak and being thrown into conversations as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. None of it mattered come fight night though, as Dillashaw beat the Brazilian from pillar to post, pulling off one of the largest upsets in UFC history.

Barao was subsequently granted an immediate rematch against Dillashaw to take place on Aug. 30 at UFC 177, however the bout never came to fruition. In a bizarre turn of events, Barao was replaced by unheralded newcomer Joe Soto on one-day's notice after Barao briefly lost consciousness and hit his head while cutting weight on the day of weigh-ins.

"You got enough money to get a real nutritionist to go in there and watch what you're eating," an angry UFC President Dana White said of Barao after the incident. "The guy's gotta go in there and do it the right way or don't cut weight, move up to 45. Don't cut weight. It's part of the sport, things are going to happen. Sucks when it does but it happens. ... He won't get a title fight after this."

Instead Barao will get Gagnon (12-2), a Canadian submission artist who enters the bout as the No. 15 ranked bantamweight on the UFC's media-generated rankings. After losing his promotional debut, Gagnon has rattled off four straight wins, three of which he finished via first-round submission.

UFC Fight Night 58 takes place at the Ginásio José Corrêa in Barueri, Brazil. An updated fight card can be seen below.

  • Lyoto Machida vs. C.B. Dollaway
  • Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon
  • Patrick Cummins vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Igor Pokrajac
  • Charlie Brenneman vs. Leandro Silva
  • Leandro Issa vs. Yuta Sasaki
  • Rashid Magomedov vs. Elias Silverio

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