Renan Barao to defend Bantamweight title against Michael McDonald in 2013

Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

Despite claims earlier claims from interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao, UFC president Dana White says he'll defend his title in 2013.

UFC Bantamweight Renan Barao got the opportunity of a lifetime in July at UFC 149. When 135 lb. champion Dominick Cruz was forced to pull out of his fight with Urijah Faber because of an injury, Barao got the tap to fight for the interim title. After 25 minutes Renan was awarded the unanimous decision and his first UFC title.

After the victory over Faber, Barao came out saying he'd rather wait for Cruz to return from injury than defend his interim title. Now, with the recent news that Cruz's injury hiatus has been extended, it looks like Barao's plans have changed.

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed the news on his Twitter account:

Michael McDonald has been working his way up the Bantamweight ladder. He's undefeated at 4-0 in the UFC. In his last bout he knocked out former 135 lb. kingpin Miguel Torres in the first round.


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