Renan Barao continued to roll at UFC 165, by stopping Eddie Wineland, and now the MMA world is crossing it’s fingers he’ll fight reigning bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz next. After all, not only is the fight long overdue, but it will feature two of the promotion’s more dynamic fighters. That is assuming, of course, that Cruz will finally be able to throw down in early 2014, after recovering from two knee surgeries.
In a recent appearance on MMA Junkie.com Radio, Barao relayed he has no problem waiting a few more months if that’s what’s needed to get the unification bout done.
“Since we’re waiting all this time, I can wait a little longer till February when he gets back,” Barao said. “Then I can legitimately get the belt.”
“Of course I want to fight Dominick,” he said. “I’m praying he gets better so the fight can actually happen. But if he doesn’t, it’ll be what the UFC decides. It’s not up to me. I just want to bring the belt back to Brazil.”
Of course, if Barao wins he’ll be the undisputed bantamweight champ and his priorities will be at 135, but the idea has been floated that he might move to 145 at some point. Since the current champ Jose Aldo is his teammate at Nova Uniao, there’s clearly no rush to make the jump, but Barao did leave the door open to the possibility.
“Andre (Pederneiras) is going to decide what’s best for the team,” Barao said about his coach. “I’ve still got a lot of time to stay in the weight class. But it’s up to my coach.”
Hopefully Cruz’s recovery remains on track and the fight with Barao gets booked soon.
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