Dominick Cruz Injured: Does UFC Need Interim Champion?

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IMay 9, 2012

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UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has become another casualty to The Ultimate Fighter curse, as he was forced out of UFC 148 title bout against Urijah Faber.

The two bantamweights are currently serving as opposing coaches on the new season, but Cruz's latest injury has prevented any sort of meeting between them.

The 26-year-old has not competed since last October, as he has spent most of the time recuperating from a broken hand he suffered in his most recent title defense against Demetrious Johnson at UFC Live 6. The setback will likely see Cruz out of action for the next nine months.

The UFC has now lost its co-main event to one of the company's biggest cards of the year, scheduled for July 7. Having already pulling Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch off the card as well, the event is in desperate need of some star power.

Rather than having to rely solely on main-eventers Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, the UFC should create an interim title bout to maintain some star credibility. 

Faber has already expressed interest in meeting rising 135-pound contender Renan Barao in a matchup, and he considers the Brazilian to be one of the top fighters in the division. 

Logically, this fight makes the most sense, and with the champion nursing an injury, Faber and Barao stand alone as the only two fighters worthy of being crowned the UFC bantamweight interim champion.

Considering the division's top star will be out for an extended period of time, it is unquestionable that the UFC bantamweight division needs an interim champion.

Not only will it prevent the division from being congested with a bunch of title contenders, but it will also give the fighter a chance to build themselves up as a potential star.

Without an interim champion, the UFC will start to see its fans lose interest the 135-pound division and fighters like Faber, Barao and McDonald will have a harder time attracting fans and gaining recognition.

Although most fans have a problem with creating an interim title, in this case, it is an idea that could benefit the future of the division.