when one door slams shut, another swings wide open. No. 5 ranked bantamweight contender T.J. Dillashaw will meet UFC champion Renan Barao on two month's notice as the new main event of UFC 173, according to a report by USA Today.
The bout serves as a replacement headliner following the postponement of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman's title defense against Lyoto Machida. Weidman is scheduled to undergo dual knee surgery next week, and his bout against Machida is now slated to headline UFC 175.
According to the report, No. 3 ranked contender Raphael Assuncao, who narrowly defeated Dillashaw last October, was initially chosen to challenge Barao, however lingering injuries prevented Assuncao from accepting the short notice bout.
Dillashaw was previously scheduled to fight Takeya Mizugaki on UFC 173's main card. A replacement opponent for Mizugaki is expected to be announced in the coming days.
Barao (32-1, 1 NC) is undefeated in 33 straight fights, the last seven of which took place under the UFC umbrella. He most recently defended his title for the third consecutive time in early February, finishing Urijah Faber via first-round TKO.
Faber's teammate, Dillashaw (9-2), has rolled to a sterling 5-1 record since falling short at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale in 2011. The Team Alpha Male product recently rebounded from his loss to Assuncao by outclassing No. 6 ranked Mike Easton en route to a unanimous decision win in January.