Jeremy Stephens will play welcoming party as he gets former champion Renan Barao.
Although the UFC has yet to make the fight official, Stephens took to Twitter and for an announcement of his own (see below).
Barao is the former bantamweight champion who went on a tear inside both the WEC and UFC cages, with victories over Urijah Faber, Eddie Wineland, Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett. With an impressive (33-3-1) record, Barao is coming off a title fight loss at the hands of former champion T.J Dillashaw. Having always battled with the weight cut at 135-pounds he will be fighting at what may be a more comfortable weight.
Stephens (24-12) is coming into this fight under a small amount of pressure as he has lost four of his last three. With the knack of getting into bloody dog fights, Stephens has the tools to score another big win come fight night. “Lil Heathen” owns KO Victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Dennis Bermudez, Rony Jason and Marcus Davis.
Both men have been in wars over the years but the advantage lies with Stephens. Barao took huge shots in the first fight with Dillashaw and the damage seemed to come back and haunt him during their second fight which led to even more damage being inflicted. Stephens has the ability to take a shot but can be grinded out by a superior fighter with world class ground skills, which is were Barao can take advantage and get a much needed win.
UFC Fight Night 88 is set to take place on May 29 from Las Vegas Nevada.