Source: MMA Mania
There was some good news from Saturday night after UFC 149 that Renan Barao would likely take a title defense instead of wait for bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz to heal up. But today, Dana White revealed that he will not force Barao to defend his interim title.
Barao has already gone on record before his fight with Urijah Faber saying he will wait for Dominick Cruz to return. This is eerily similar to the situation with Carlos Condit and GSP. Whats the point of crowning an interim champion if he decides to wait for the champion to return? An interim champion is supposed to fight and keep things going.
I think the UFC needs to start forcing these guys to fight. If they want to fight for the interim title, the stipulation is that if he wins and is healthy, he has to defend his interim title. We don’t know how long Dominick Cruz is going to be out. Cruz said it himself, he is going to be in his big cast for another three weeks. He really won’t be ready for a year, that’s how long GSP will be out.
There are contenders waiting to get a shot. Namely, Michael McDonald. McDonald could have possibly fought Urijah Faber at UFC 149 had it not been for a hand injury. But Barao got the nod. McDonald is healthy now and has the credentials to challenge Barao. McDonald is on a 6 fight win streak. He is realistic that he has only had one top ten fight in Miguel Torres but passed that test with flying colors when he knocked Torres out.
I can see why Barao would be hesitant to fight McDonald. In the end, it shouldn’t be his decision. It is the UFC’s decision. Barao has to fight whom ever they put in front of him. If Barao is as good as he believes he is, he won’t be missing out on the big money fight by taking a fight or two while waiting for Cruz to heal up. The last thing we need is another division backed up by an interim champion.