Bantamweight (135 lbs.)
Current title holder: Dominick ‘The Dominator’ Cruz
Current interim title holder: Renan ‘Barao’ Pegado
With Dominick Cruz still on the sidelines and no word yet on a return bout, the situation in the bantamweight division is not yet set in stone. Urijah Faber was set to face Cruz for the title in July before Cruz was forced to pull out.
Enter Renan Barao to spoil Faber’s chance at a UFC title. Barao used his superior striking and overall skill set to win a unanimous decision over Faber for the interim bantamweight title, thus setting up a unification bout with Cruz. It remains unclear whether Barao will need to take another fight pending Cruz’ return or if the champion will be ready to defend his title in early 2013. In the meantime, the bantamweight elites will need to do battle in order to create a new challenger after Barao and Cruz finally face each other.
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