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Renan Barao Says Dominick Cruz Was Atop The Division

Renan Barao has been the UFC interim bantamweight champion for 16 months now. He finally gets his chance to unify with the returning champion Dominick Cruz. Barao thinks he’s the real champ after defending the belt twice.

“I always said my goal is to fight against the best and Dominick Cruz was on the top of the category,” said Barao to Fighters Only. “I knew I would face him sooner or later, but I knew this fight would happen.”

Cruz needed two ACL surgeries when the first one didn’t attach. He hasn’t fought since October 2011 and is 19-1.

Barao has won his last 31 fights. He submitted Michael McDonald and stopped Eddie Wineland this year.

They headline UFC 169 on February 1. It’s from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.