UFC Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz hasn't defended his belt since facing Demetrious Johnson on October 1, 2011. In the meantime, the UFC has awarded an interim title to Renan Barao who claimed it by beating Urijah Faber at UFC 149 in mid-2012 and has since defended the interim title twice, a new record for a UFC interim champ.
UFC President Dana White spoke with Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting about the situation:
"We have thought about (setting a time limit for stripping the title), and we will do it," White said on Monday. "We're probably going to do that soon.
"It's a combination of me feeling really bad for him, and him being such a good person. ... Do I think we let it play out too long? Maybe. But if I look at who the champion is, then I say no. I feel bad for the kid.
"He's training," White said. "He is very confident that he's going to be back at the beginning of the year. And I think we've made it pretty clear what's going to happen if he's not."
Hopefully Cruz will be able to face Barao in a title unification bout early in 2014.
More from Bloody Elbow:
- Demian Maia looking for title shot with win over Jake Shields
- Bradley vs Marquez preview, results, discussion, PPV live fight coverage October 12
- BE's Baddest MMA Greatest of All Time Tournament: #3 Bas Rutten vs. #6 Megumi Fujii
- UFC Fight Night 29: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao Preview and Prophecy
- UFC: TJ Waldburger discusses why he's willing to take more risks in the cage