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Breaking: Renan Barao pulled from UFC 177, Joe Soto now fights TJ Dillashaw for bantamweight belt

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

You can't make this shit up.

Just hours after Henry Cejudo withdrew from UFC 177 for "medical reasons" (those details here), it has now been learned that event headliner Renan Barao is also off tomorrow night's (Aug. 30, 2014) pay-per-view (PPV) card at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, after reportedly fainting during his weight cut. confirmed the change earlier today, while Dana White announced that Barao has now lost his shot at the title.

Taking his place is Joe Soto (15-2), who was yanked from his bantamweight fight against Anthony Birchak on the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" portion of the UFC 177 fight card. Soto, despite being unfamiliar to casual UFC fans, was actually a featherweight champion under the Bellator banner (see his comments here) and can be considered a formidable challenge for  "The Viper."

Well, that's what they'll tell you, anyway.

This latest news further damages a card that was already suffering from a lack of star power, so it will be interesting to see what kind of PPV buys UFC 177 can generate with the loss of Barao (see the revised fight card here). As it stands, Birchak is not expected to compete, but will receive his "show" purse.

Expect much more on this developing story in the next few hours.

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