Bantamweight Renan Barao has stated in the past he prefers to remain active while holding the division’s interim championship. Barao, who won the belt with a decision victory over Urijah Faber last month, is currently set to face Dominick Cruz to unify the titles.
However, their clash is currently on hold while Cruz continues to rehab from knee surgery. The linear champion, Cruz is working hard to return as soon as possible but is still months away from fighting again.
“(Barao) is a UFC employee and will do whatever they tell him to, but the way we see it, there’s no other fight but Dominick Cruz,” said Barao’s manager Andres Pederneiras in a recent interview with TATAME. “The first thought is to fight for the official belt, which is now with Dominick Cruz.”
Barao talked about being open to defending the interim title while waiting for Cruz, but it seems his management would prefer he holds out for “The Dominator” to return to the ring instead of risk the opportunity to face him beforehand.
The 25-year-old Barao is 29-1 including four UFC victories since entering the promotion. He has not lost since his professional debut in 2005.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC