The UFC’s bantamweight division hasn’t had a legitimate champion at the head of its division since 2011 when Dominick Cruz last fought and defended his title against current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. With Cruz’s return left without an official timeline, the UFC filled his spot temporarily.
In his spot, the UFC crowned Renan Barao the interim bantamweight champion with a win over Urijah Faber last year at UFC 149. Since then, Barao defended his interim belt once against Michael McDonald in February at UFC on FUEL TV: Barao vs. McDonald. After the bout, Barao was scheduled to fight in this weekend’s UFC 161 main event against Eddie Wineland to defend his interim belt for the second time but was forced off the bout on May 21st with a foot injury.
The injury sidelined Barao and left the division without two champions, but only for a short time as Barao tweeted today that he was ready to return to action as soon as possible:
Barao asked UFC president Dana White for a fight to be scheduled immediately and suggested that his bout be set for a Brazilian based fight card. The next two events in Brazil are UFC 163 which already features a stacked 13-fight card and takes place on August 3rd, an unlikely event for Barao to be scheduled, and UFC on FOX Sports 1: 3, scheduled for September 4th date at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
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