Ivan Menjivar’s original UFC 148 opponent, Renan Barão, has been promoted to the interim bantamweight championship bout with Urijah Faber. So now, Menjivar will square off with Mike Easton, according to UFC officials.
Barão on Friday was called in to fight Faber for the interim strap when UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was put on the sidelines for the next several months after blowing out his knee.
Menjivar (24-8), who has won all three of his UFC bouts, likely would have put himself in a title-challenging situation with a win over Barão, but may be doing the same thing if he gets past Easton.
Easton has an impressive 12-1 record with back-to-back wins since entering the UFC Octagon. He is also the former UWC bantamweight champion, having defeated the likes of former WEC champ Chase Beebe and Ultimate Fighter winner John Dodson.
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva faces Chael Sonnen in the UFC 148 main event on July 7 in Las Vegas, while Faber vs. Barão will serve as the co-main event.