LAS VEGAS (AP) — Urijah Faber is stepping in for injured Dominick Cruz to face UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao in the main event at UFC 169 on Feb. 1.
The UFC announced the changes Monday to its Super Bowl weekend show at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Cruz (19-1) was the UFC’s first 135-pound champion, but has been out of the cage since October 2011 with a serious knee injury. He tore a muscle in his groin and elected to vacate his title, which has been held on an interim basis by Barao since July 2012.
Barao (33-1) beat Faber by unanimous decision to win the interim belt, and the Brazilian defended it twice last year.
The veteran Faber (30-6) won four fights last year to revitalize his championship hopes.