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City's UFC card takes hit

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Bantamweight champion Renan Barao (left) and No. 1 division contender Eddie Wineland  squared off with each other at a news conference in Winnipeg last month.

JOE BRYKSA / FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Bantamweight champion Renan Barao (left) and No. 1 division contender Eddie Wineland squared off with each other at a news conference in Winnipeg last month.

THE main event on Winnipeg's UFC 161 card next month may have suffered a serious blow.

Brazilian MMA website Tatame reported this weekend that the June 15 card at the MTS Centre may be forced to change its main event after interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao suffered a foot injury and may not be healed in time to defend his title against Eddie Wineland.

The UFC has not confirmed the story, although a UFC official told MMAjunkie.com that Barao (30-1) would "probably" be unavailable for the event. UFC Canada communications manager Caroyln Blakely replied to an email from the Free Press on Monday:

"We've seen the reports, but we do not have an official update at this time. We will share any card information whenever it comes available."

Barao was apparently scheduled to undergo a medical exam Monday to determine his availability for the bout, and until that becomes official, it's uncertain what the UFC may do for its main event.

The UFC 161 card is already a strong one, as it includes two big light-heavyweight bouts in Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Rashad Evans facing Dan Henderson. Either one of those bouts may be moved up to act as the main event.

Barao has served as the interim bantamweight champion, with Dominick Cruz recovering from knee surgery. His bout with Wineland was to be his second title defence.

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