There’s little question UFC bantamweight Renan Barao has positioned himself to be a win away from joining an elite group of competitors as the top fighter in his respective division. The 25-year old is on an unprecedented winning streak including six instances of success under the Zuffa banner, the most recent of which involved a dominant outpointing of Urijah Faber in the main event at UFC 149.
Now an interim champion, Barao has turned his sights towards what’s next with the most likely option involving a date with 135-pound king Dominick Cruz. However, with Cruz still sidelined while recovering from major knee surgery, it doesn’t look like Barao is locked in to the notion of his next duel coming against “The Dominator”.
“I want to fight the best and I think Dominick Cruz is the best,” said Barao in an interview with the UFC shortly after his win over Faber. “(But) if they want me to fight someone else while he heals up, I can fight no problem.”
Cruz is not expected to return to the ring until 2013. Other interim title-holders in the past have elected to wait rather than risk their shot at the actual champion with the most recent example being Carlos Condit.
For now Barao seems content to simply enjoy his present circumstances, fulfilling a lifelong goal by strapping UFC gold around his waist after beating an opponent like Faber in a PPV main event.
“It’s a dream come true. This is the happiest moment of my life,” the elated Barao explained.
Check out the complete interview with Barao below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC