UFC 165 results: Renan Barao and Dominick Cruz talk title unification match

Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

UFC interim Bantamweight champ Renan Barao defended his belt for the second time and now he's ready to welcome back injured champion Dominick Cruz.

Bantamweight Renan Barao became the longest-reigning interim champ in UFC history Saturday at UFC 165 with his head kick KO win over Eddie Wineland. He may or may not get the chance to unify the titles by fighting nominal champ Dominick Cruz early in 2014.

Cruz has not fought since defeating now Flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson in October, 2011. He coached a season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Urijah Faber but had to bow out of that rubber match when he tore his ACL. The initial transplant from a corpse didn't take so he had to undergo a second surgery.

UFC president Dana White has been extremely lenient by not stripping Cruz of the title but his patience is not infinite. Before UFC 165 he said he was running out of patience with Cruz:

"It's getting to the point now where it's just like, if he can't fight at the beginning of the year, we've got to pull the trigger. It's been two years. A lot of people think we're crazy for holding up the title this long, but it's a tough thing to do to take a title away from somebody. It's hard to do."

The UFC is looking to book Cruz vs. Barao early in 2014 if Cruz' health permits. Both Barao and Cruz talked about the potential matchup. Here's what Barao had to say to Sherdog:

"I hope he recovers as fast as possible so we can put on a great show for the public," said Barao. "They've all been waiting for that."

For his part, Cruz is already breaking down the bout in his head, per MMA Weekly:

"Barao mixes it up better than anybody in the division. That's what I'm looking forward to fighting. I'm looking forward fighting a guy that mixes things up from head to toe, whether it be wrestling, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, boxing. I'm ready for that. I will be ready for that, and I cannot wait.

"I think that can challenge that," continued Cruz. "I know that I can beat him. I know that I have the tools to challenge him and really trick him out in a lot of different ways with the things that I do in a fight."

Our own Kevin Nicholson has covered Cruz injury and rehab woes and is somewhat confident of his chances to have a successful return:


More from Bloody Elbow:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker