Dana White Says Urijah Faber Will Still Fight for Interim Title

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IMay 9, 2012

Urijah Faber - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Urijah Faber - Esther Lin/MMAFighting

Dominick Cruz may be out of UFC 148, but Urijah Faber and the bantamweight title will still be in, according to UFC President Dana White.

In an episode of UFC Tonight on Fuel TV, White addressed the state of the bantamweight division.

Cruz was set to defend his UFC title against Faber on July 7 in the co-main event of UFC 148, but a serious knee injury suffered during training forced him to withdraw from the highly anticipated rubber match.

Given the severity of Cruz's injury, White has decided to crown an interim champion to fill in for the time being.

"The answer is yes," said White, when asked about an interim title bout. "So what's going to happen is Urijah Faber will, he's going to fight still. He's going to fight on the same card. Now, I'm looking for the right opponent. The guy who deserves this shot at Urijah Faber."

There are plenty of worthy contenders at 135-pounds, but the most notable has to be Renan Barao, who hasn't lost in seven years. Ivan Menjivar and Michael McDonald have also come up in the conversation for an interim title shot.

McDonald is a name that should especially be fresh on people's minds. The 21-year-old prodigy wiped the floor with former WEC champion Miguel Torres with a highlight reel first round knockout at UFC 145.

Even though Faber longs for another shot at Cruz, he believes the UFC is doing the right thing in crowning an interim champion. Cruz's injury could keep him sidelined for a minimum of nine months, and he hasn't defended his title since October 2011.

"I think that's the best idea," Faber told UFC Tonight. "Dominick's been out since his last fight. He had his hand surgery. Now, he's out with another surgery, so a year and a half, and I think Renan Barao or Ivan Menjivar or maybe Michael McDonald, but I'm not sure."

As fate would have it, Barao was already slated to compete at UFC 148 against Menjivar. If the fighters agree, it wouldn't be hard for the UFC to do a little shuffling to set the wheels in motion for a world title bout.

Faber is already sizing up Barao as a possible opponent. He believes the Brazilian is even more dangerous than Cruz.

"He's as tough an opponent as Dominick, but a little more dangerous. A little bit slower on his feet, but he has a lot of ways to win," said Faber.


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