The UFC brought in Renan Barao to battle Urijah Faber for an interim bantamweight title after linear champion Dominick Cruz was shelved with a torn ACL. Barao went on to beat Faber by way of decision and followed the performance up with a submission win over Michael McDonald in February. Though Barao was set to put his gold up for grabs a second time, taking on Eddie Wineland in a few weeks at UFC 161, it now appears the brilliant Brazilian will likely be unavailable due to an injury he sustained while training for the tilt.
Interestingly enough, it appears Faber may very well receive the call to fill in for Barao based on his willingness to step up under the right circumstances. “The California Kid” spoke with MMAMania recently, explaining he’s open to the match-up as long as it puts him in line for a shot at winning gold.
“I just found out and from what it sounds like, we’ve got the champ injured and now the interim champ is hurt. This sucks,” said Faber. “No one has reached out to me about filling in but if the opportunity comes knocking, I’ll definitely consider it.”
“I feel like in the rankings I’m number two. It’s kinda like waiting to see what happens. If an opportunity comes take it. That’s always been my mentality,” he concluded.
The 28-6 Faber is coming off consecutive submission wins over Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen. He also owns a past victory over Wineland, outpointing his fellow former WEC champ in a 2011 match-up.