Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao has a fight on the books that will be his first since he departed the promotion in 2019.

Barao, 34, will compete in a featherweight bout against Tyson Duckworth (12-9) at Premier FC 32. The event takes place Friday at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. and streams on FITE.

In September 2013, Barao reached the pinnacle of mixed martial arts when he defeated Eddie Wineland for the interim UFC bantamweight championship. Soon thereafter he was made the undisputed champion when Dominick Cruz was stripped due to injury inactivity.

Barao successfully defended his title for the first against Urijah Faber at UFC 169. It would be his lone title defense as he was dominated by T.J. Dillashaw seven months later at UFC 173. From that point in time until his UFC exit, Barao went 2-7, including five-straight losses that led to his departure.

During the 23 months since his release, Barao was scheduled to fight once, at Taura MMA 12 in November 2020. However, his bout against fellow UFC alumnus Bobby Moffett was canceled when the event was indefinitely postponed.

His opponent, Duckworth is 41 and rides a three-fight skid of his own into the bout. The Alaskan fighter competed mostly in his home state for Alaska FC in the early part of his career, but has more recently fought in the southeastern United States.

Barao vs. Duckworth will serve as the co-main event to former UFC fighter Marcus Davis (22-11), who is set to fight Stephen Stengel (4-15) in a middleweight headliner.


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