With bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz out of commission coming for almost two years, the point had to come where UFC President Dana White put his foot down. While Dominick has been away, Renan Barao stepped in to defeat “The California Kid” for the interim belt, then went on to successfully defend it against Michael Mcdonald earlier this year. Now the Brazilian will defend the belt again against Eddie Wineland this Saturday night, September 21, in Toronto.
White stated while at a media scrum for UFC 165 that tomorrow will be the last interim fight, even if Champion Dominick Cruz isn’t completely capable of returning.
“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,” White said at a pre-UFC 165 media event. “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 last time current champion Cruz competed, he picked up a unanimous decision victory over Demetrious Johnson back in October of 2011. If “The Dominator” does return, it may be without the bantamweight belt that he has worked so hard for.