Will Renan Barao Get His Due?

By Kevin Davidson
Renan Barao
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Interim Championship belts. Ugh. I cannot stand those words. I understand that it is a necessary evil, especially in a sport where injuries are commonplace like mixed martial arts, but come on! We know this man wearing a belt is not the champion. The UFC sure cannot promote him like the champion because they do not want to forget about their real champion, and fighters know that it is only a guaranteed fight at the real champion when he, or she, returns healthy. I just find it awkward.

Renan Barao finds himself in this exact situation, although it is a bit more complicated. If you do not already know, I do believe that the UFC should force Dominick Cruz to give up his title. It’s just my opinion, but since I’m the one writing, you will like that opinion. And like it good!

Anywho, Barao has proven himself time and time again when it comes to the Interim Belt. He won it from the ultra-popular, and talented, Urijah Faber. He defended the belt against the new up-and-comer Michael McDonald, and he now defends again against Eddie Wineland. All three of those fighters are the toughest that the division has to offer. If he does manage to defeat Wineland, will people finally give him his due and see him as the real champion? They better.

Cruz is an amazing fighter, everyone knows that, but a bum knee is not good news for any athlete. Yes, Georges St. Pierre did come back from it, but it was not as serious as Cruz’, and his knee was never injured before. Cruz’ knee has been battered more than once. If Cruz comes back, how long will he be healthy before injury strikes again? If Barao wins this Saturday, I say he becomes undisputed. Let’s put a new face to the Bantamweight division and witness a dynasty in the making.

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