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Renan Barao defends weight cutting methods after UFC 177 dropout: 'Everything was fine'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Speaking for the first time since his failed weight cut crippled an already much-maligned UFC 177 fight card, former bantamweight champion Renan Barao told Joe Rogan on Saturday's FOX Sports 1 broadcast that he didn't remember anything that took place before or after he blacked out while shedding weight on Friday.

"I was dehydrating in the bathtub," Barao explained through a translator. "I feinted, I hit my head, I was taken to the hospital.

"I was fine," Barao added. "My weight was around regular what I come in for fight week. Everything was fine, everything was going great the whole week. The whole thing was I hit my head in the bathtub and that's where it all went down."

Barao (32-2, 1 NC), who also had a rocky weight cut ahead of UFC 173, claimed that he regularly cuts 10 kilos, or 22 pounds, for his fights, and that he was on course to make weight prior to the incident.

However Barao's assertion that he was "fine" prompted Rogan to question how weight cutting methods that led to a blackout and subsequent hospitalization could possibly be considered acceptable.

"I've had 35 fights cutting weight this method," Barao responded. "It's always fine for me. I think the whole problem is I got up too fast and I blacked out and I fell, so that was the whole issue."

Barao's last second dropout forced UFC officials to scramble to find a replacement. They ultimately settled on promotional newcomer Joe Soto, a largely unknown commodity who jumped from an undercard match-up against fight fellow UFC rookie Anthony Birchak into the most unexpected of title fights against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

Dillashaw was furious about switch, remarking several times on Friday that Barao was scared, while an exasperated UFC President Dana White informed reporters that the Brazilian would not be receiving another title shot for his next fight.

White also advised that Barao hire a nutritionist to cut weight "the right way" or consider moving up to the featherweight division.

"I was very excited, I trained very hard for this fight. I'm disappointed to let down the UFC and all the fans, everyone who came out," Barao said.

"I'm very sad to not be fighting here tonight. This is something I do, it's a dream come true every time I go in there and fight, and I'm very disappointed not to be fighting. I want to come back and I want to face T.J. He's been saying a lot of things and I want to come in here and tear his head off."