Dana White Says No Interim Belts for Lightweight or Heavyweight Division
UFC President Dana White (above) said there will be no interim championships for either the lightweight or heavyweight division: despite both champions having undergone recent surgeries, White says that their returns are certain.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
UFC lightweight and heavyweight champions, Anthony Pettis and Cain Velasquez, respectively, have undergone recent surgeries. Pettis injured his knee leading up to a bout that was scheduled to take place this past Saturday, and Velasquez injured his shoulder in his last bout at UFC 166.
Despite these injuries, however, UFC President Dana White is adamant that there will be no interim champion for either division. The reason why? Quite simply because there are no questions about either fighter’s return to action.
“We know when Cain is coming back,” White responded to questions regarding possible interim championships. “We know when Pettis is coming back. We do those [interim titles] when we don’t know when somebody is coming back or we don’t know what’s going on.”
Case in point: UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. He has been out of action for over two years due to a tear in his ACL – an injury that has seen two surgeries and a wealth of rehabilitation. The UFC, because of the uncertainty of Cruz’s return, instated an interim title which Renan Barao won at UFC 149 in July, 2012. Barao has since defended that belt twice, a reign many fans have believed to have gone on too long to not earn the title; but with Cruz’s return to action set for February, the UFC will finally be able to unify the division.
As White pointed out, both Cain Velasquez and Anthony Pettis are set to return from their injuries on a very specific timeframe: following successful surgeries for both men, they will be able to fight sometime in the middle of 2014.