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Potential No. 1 Contender Match With Barao vs. Menjivar Headlines Trio of UFC Announcements

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

An injury to Mike Easton has reshaped the fight cards of UFC 148 and UFC on FUEL 3.

Most significantly, surging bantamweight contender Renan Barao (28-1) is now slated to fight Ivan Menjivar (24-8) in a potential number-one contender's bout at UFC 148, according to reports from Sportsnet's Joe Ferraro. Barao later confirmed the switch via Twitter.

UFC 148 will be held July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, and is expected to feature a bantamweight championship clash between TUF 15 coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.

Barao and Menjivar are a combined 6-0 since transferring from the WEC to the UFC.

The 25-year-old Barao, who is unbeaten over his last 29 fights, has shown flashed of dominance in Octagon wins over Cole Escovedo, Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen. Similarly, the 29-year-old Menjivar has rebounded from a 1-3 slump to pick up UFC victories over Charlie Valencia, Nick Pace and John Albert, the last of which earned ‘Submission of the Night' honors.

Meanwhile, Barao's former opponent, Jeff Hougland (10-4), is now scheduled to meet Easton's former opponent, Yves Jabouin (17-7), at UFC on FUEL 3, which takes place May 15 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA.

Additionally, a featherweight contest between fast-rising Jimy Hettes (10-0) and TUF 14 veteran Steven Siler (20-9) has been confirmed for UFC on FX 4. Both fighters are undefeated in two UFC appearances, with Siler having defeated Josh Clopton and Cole Miller, and Hettes claiming victories over Alex Caceres and Nam Phan.