The first bout on the card is the headliner, which will be the UFC’s first five-round non-title bout, pitting Chris Leben against Mark Munoz. Next up, as you might suspect, is a British fighter, Brad Pickett, who will square off with Brazilian phenom Renan Barao.
The bantamweight feature was announced by The Telegraph on Tuesday.
Pickett (20-5) was last in action at WEC 53 in December, where he won a unanimous decision over Ivan Menjivar. It was a strong performance for the Brit, bouncing back from a loss to Scott Jorgensen, who snapped Pickett’s nine-fight winning streak.
Barao (26-1) hasn’t lost since the first fight of his professional career, his only other blemish a no contest several years ago. He has been nothing short of impressive since beginning his Zuffa tenure at WEC 49, reeling off three consecutive victories. Barao last stepped in the Octagon at UFC 130, where he handily won a unanimous decision over former WEC champion Cole Escovedo.
The UFC and its fans in England had all but given up on finding a suitable date and venue for an event there this year, but UFC president Dana White confirmed the Birmingham event on Tuesday, telling MMAWeekly.com with a smile, “Now all the fans in England can stop jumping all over me.”
UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz will air on Spike TV on a same-day, tape-delayed basis.