Renan Barao: Dominick Cruz aiming for February 2014 return

Todd Warshaw

According to Renan Barao, It appears that we could see a UFC bantamweight reunification fight early next year.

There could be light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the UFC bantamweight title situation. Champion Dominick Cruz has been on the sidelines for over two years due to various injuries and setbacks. In the meantime, Renan Barao captured the interim title and is set to defend it for the second time next month at UFC 165. Barao told MMA Fighting that he recently talked to Cruz briefly in Brazil, and that Cruz had finally set a possible return date:

"We only exchanged a few words because my English isn’t that good," Renan told MMAFighting.com about the meeting with Cruz in Brazil. "He told me he’s returning (to fighting) on February. I was really happy to hear that. I hope he can return so we can finally fight."

Cruz had repeatedly refused to set a timeline for his return in the past, because he didn't want to speculate and end up being wrong. If Barao is right and February is when he'll finally get back to the cage, that's great news. A unification bout for the title would generate some interest and would prove once and for all who the top 135er in the world is. Hopefully Cruz can stay on track and that it goes down in early 2014.


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