With the news that Dominick Cruz (19-1) will require a second a surgery on his ACL, the likelihood that interim champion Renan Barão (20-1-1 NC) will defend his title is looking more like a reality.
“I was okay with the news because a lot of people were already speculating that I wasn’t going to face Cruz,” said Barão to MMA Junkie. “I wasn’t that focused on him. I’ll be prepared for whoever they put against me.”
The interim bantamweight champion is now expected to defend the title against Michael McDonald (15-1) sometime in 2013.
Cruz last fought in October 2011, where he successfully defended his title against Urijah Faber. That win was his 10th in row and fifth title defense between the UFC and WEC.
“My goal was to fight him because I wanted to unify the belts, but unfortunately he isn’t in any condition for that,” said Barão. “I already had it in my mind that I could fight McDonald.”
Barão hasn’t lost since his MMA debut in 2005. Since he joined the WEC, all of his fights have ended way of submission or decision. McDonald is undefeated for the UFC too, where he allowed his fist to finish the previous two fights in the first round.
The UFC has made no official announcement regarding the future of the bantamweight title.