UFC

TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao rematch to headline UFC 186 in Canada

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A rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao for the UFC Bantamweight championship is just one of five fights touted for April's UFC 186 event.

Dillashaw dethroned Barao in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history at UFC 173 in May last year, and a proposed rematch at UFC 177 was scrapped after Barao's illness.

Also rumoured to fight at the Bell Centre in Montreal are welterweight contenders Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard - as well as the returning Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson.

Right place, right time

For Barao, he's benefitted greatly from former champion, Dominick Cruz, being back on the sidelines after suffering another ACL injury, as well as injuries to other contenders. Many had Barao placed lower down the UFC's tier list after an illness, attributed to a big weight cut, saw Barao pull out of UFC 177's main event on just 24 hours notice.

In their initial match it was a round one bomb from Dillashaw that rocked the Brazilian and left him stumbling until Dillashaw put the fight to bed in the fifth round. Now though he's back and has a chance at redemption against the man who ended his near decade undefeated run and saw him displaced as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC.

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Can Rory finally seal a title shot?

There's a lot at stake in the other big name fights as well, as MacDonald and Lombard could take away Johny Hendricks's number one contender place with a win. Canadian MacDonald will have the home crowd advantage over Lombard in what is looking like his third number one contender fight in a row.

He's already seen off Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine in supposed number one contender fights but has been delayed by the series of fights between Robbie Lawler and Hendricks.

Now, with Lawler opting to rest up before his next fight in the summer, MacDonald has a chance to further cement his claim for the next shot at the champion.

Return of the Rampage

Also linked to the card is the return of former Light Heavyweight champion, 'Rampage' Jackson, who is on a three fight winning streak.

Rampage last fought for the UFC in January 2013, where he lost to Glover Teixeira (his third successive loss) and left the organisation to join rivals, Bellator and also star in TNA's Impact! Wrestling.

Three straight wins has seen the 36-year-old pushed back into the spotlight and it never hurts the UFC to have a big former name on a comeback streak. He's rumoured to face Fabio Maldonado at the event but there's no word yet on whether he's on a fight-by-fight contract with the UFC.

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Topics:
Renan Barao
UFC
Johny Hendricks

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