Image via UFC
When Dominick Cruz went down with his ACL injury, it was natural to assume that top contender Renan Barao would be the one to step up and face Urijah Faber for the UFC interim bantamweight title at UFC 148. Faber has even said as much. According to Barao, who is currently scheduled to face Ivan Menjivar on the preliminary card, he's ready to step up (via Tatame):
"It would be great. Actually, I fight any guy UFC tells me to. I’m prepared and I can fight anyone", said Barao.
While he clearly wants the bout, he's staying focused on Menjivar:
"I started my preparation and I’ll fight anyone they tell me to. I’ll be prepared to go there and do a good jog and a good fight. My focus in on Menjivar. It’s all speculations, bets. I’m slated to fight Menjivar".
Related: DDominick Cruz Out of UFC 148 With ACL Injury | UFC 148: Urijah Faber Thinks He'll Fight For Interim Title, Believes Renan Barao Is Best Option | UFC Video: Urijah Faber To Fight For Interim Bantamweight Title At UFC 148
And he says he's heard nothing from the UFC about a possible change as of yet:
"It’s a fans thing. They want it to happen. People on Facebook and Twitter want me to be in this fight and Faber himself pointed me out. The champion got injured and Faber is fighting. I’d be really glad to confront him. That’s all. They haven’t say anything to me".
I find it somewhat surprising that the UFC hasn't talked to him about that bout yet. It could be that he's just denying it in public, but if it's true it could indicate that the bout might be going to Michael McDonald instead. Just a guess on my part though.