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Joe Soto replaces Renan Barao, will fight T.J. Dillashaw in UFC 177 main event (updated)

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 177 just took another major hit.

The pay-per-view card, which initially was headlined by a pair of title fights, will now feature a title challenger stepping up on short notice.

Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who was scheduled to face off against UFC 135-pound champion in the main event of Saturday’s card in Sacramento, Calif., was forced out of the bout after complications during his weight cut.

Joe Soto (15-2), who was set to take on Anthony Birchak on the preliminary portion of the card, will now take on Dillashaw for the bantamweight title. Combate and ESPN reported the news.

The original co-main event, between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso, was moved to UFC 178 earlier this month, after the Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier light heavyweight championship fight was also delayed due to an injury.

UPDATE: According to a release provided to from Nova Uniao, Barao felt dizzy when leaving the tub in his hotel room and hit his head against the wall. The bantamweight passed out and was rushed to the hospital.

After the official weigh-ins, Dillashaw had harsh words towards the former bantamweight champion.

"(Barao) is scared. He doesn’t want it," he said. "His coaches wanted the rematch more than he did. He's never missed weight before. It's kinda funny he does it now."

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