Renan Barao has been the UFC interim bantamweight champion for over a year now and has two title defenses. The problem, according to one of his head trainers Andre Pederneiras, is sponsors have a hard time believing he’s a real champion and it’s costing some major bucks.
“He’s very frustrated because he needs to make money,” said Pederneiras on MMA Junkie Radio. “So many sponsors here in Brazil are not sponsoring him because he’s not the real champion from the UFC. He’s the interim champion. He’s losing money every day.”
Barao became the first person to defend an interim belt twice at UFC 165. He took Knockout of the Night from Eddie Wineland in the co-main event.
Pederneiras said he would talk to UFC president Dana White about Dominick Cruz still being the champ, despite being sidelined for two years with an ACL injury.
There has been talk of Cruz returning in the first half of 2014, but nothing is confirmed.