UFC Looks to Implement Time-Limit for Stripping Titles from Injured Champions
Despite not fighting for 2 years because of a torn ACL, Dominick Cruz (left) still holds the UFC bantamweight title. Meanwhile, Renan Barao has defended his interim bantamweight title twice since earning the belt in July of 2012. According to UFC President Dana White, the UFC may be implementing a time limit so situations like this won’t last as long in the future.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
UFC President Dana White has shown considerable patience for bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz during his recovery from an ACL tear nearly two years ago. During that time, the champion has undergone two surgeries and more rehab than anyone should really do for a single injury. And he has held on to the belt through all of that, despite Renan Barao winning an interim championship at 135 lbs. in July, 2012 and defending that belt twice.
It’s a situation that’s awkward and undoubtedly frustrating for the fighters, the UFC and many fans.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, White said that the UFC may implement a time limit for injured champions to avoid another drawn-out situation like this.
“We have thought about (setting a time limit for stripping the title), and we will do it. We’re probably going to do that soon.
“It’s a combination of me feeling really bad for [Cruz], 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.”
If all goes well, however, the bantamweight championship will be decided without White having to strip it from the current champ.
“He’s training,” White said of Cruz. “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.”