Renan Barao won't defend interim title, will wait for Dominick Cruz

Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao has been on the sidelines since his July 21st win over Urijah Faber to claim the belt. Dominick Cruz, the holder of the regular belt, is expected to be on the shelf for a while longer while he rehabs his torn ACL, and it was expected that Barao would probably defend his interim title at least once while Cruz was still out. But in an interview with UOL, Barao's coach Andre Pederneiras dismissed that notion and says Barao will wait for Cruz to return for a title unification match:

"He just won the title, just fought. We will wait. Look how long the wait was for Condit and GSP to unify the belt?"

To me, this is lunacy. Carlos Condit sat out because he's going to get a massive payday to fight the biggest PPV draw in the company. Barao vs. Cruz probably wouldn't even main-event a PPV, much less make Barao a gigantic amount of money. He could go and fight Michael McDonald any time and the money difference probably wouldn't be that great at all.

This also, once again, puts the brakes on a newer division that badly needs as many title fights as possible. In the two years since the WEC merger, there have been a total of three bantamweight title fights - two defences by Cruz, and Faber/Barao. And now we're going to have to wait up to a year for another one? That's bad news to me.

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