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Renan Barao ditches pizza, insists it's easier to make weight in Brazil

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight kingpin Renan Barao passed out while trying to make weight for his championship rematch against TJ Dillashaw, which was scheduled for the UFC 177 main event last August inside Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

See how it all went down here.

Not only did the Brazilian lose the opportunity to fight for the strap in "Sactown," he was also denied a chance to get it back when he makes his Octagon return later this month, hence the match up against Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58 in Brazil.

But if it's any consolation, at least Barao will have an easier time making weight, according to comments he made during a local news conference (via MMA Fighting):

"It's never easy to make weight, but I'm fine, thank God. I'm controlling my weight earlier this time [around], and I'm doing really well. Everything will be fine. I changed a lot of things. I'm controlling my food now, eating more balanced meals. I stopped eating things like pizza and pasta. I think it's easier to make weight in Brazil, I'm used to the weather and everything. It's going to be a lot easier this time."

Somewhere in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, Papa John weeps.

While no one is going to make a stink about Dominick Cruz getting the next crack at the division crown -- thanks to this impressive return last September -- Barao is still ranked No. 1 in their class, according to the "official" UFC rankings (see the list here).

Gagnon managed to sneak in at No. 14.

Whether or not this pairing was punishment, or a simple chance to regain his footing in the crowded 135-pound landscape, is a question only the UFC brass can answer. As for the Brazilian, it's up to him to make good on his promise to come back stronger -- and perhaps lighter -- than ever.

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