Renan Barao has had the interim UFC bantamweight title in his possession since defeating Urijah Faber by unanimous decision back on July 21. Following that win, Barao’s coach, Andre Pederneiras, said that the newly crowned interim champ was not going to defend that title, instead opting to wait for a unification bout with champion Dominick Cruz.
Pederneiras even cited the long wait for the welterweight unification bout between Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit as one of the reasons Barao was justified in waiting for Cruz to return.
UFC president Dana White, speaking to media on Saturday after St-Pierre had won that unification bout, said the circumstances in Condit’s situation where much different than Barao’s: "Carlos Condit, I think we quickly forget how many hoops that guy jumped through and all the things that he did, you know, stepping aside and all the stuff that went on in the crazy Nick Diaz situation. He deserved to do whatever he wanted to do. If he wanted to sit out, he could.”
White makes a valid point: Condit had been booked to face Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137 after Nick Diaz was removed from the card after failing to show up for two media appearances.
Condit then saw that title fight disappear when St-Pierre hurt his knee while training. Condit opted to not face a replacement fighter and the bout with St-Pierre was then set for a later date. However, that fight vanished after Diaz defeated BJ Penn at UFC 137 and went on an in-cage tirade that left St-Pierre incensed enough to ask Dana White for the fight against Diaz.
Obviously, that fight against Diaz didn’t happen, as St-Pierre injured his other knee, leading to him requiring surgery and the UFC opting to have Diaz and Condit face off for the interim title in February of this year. Condit would go on to win that bout by unanimous decision and then wait for St-Pierre to heal up.
So, there you have it, a rather convoluted tale, but yeah, those circumstances probably did lend themselves to Condit being given the option to wait for a unification bout.
Barao has not jumped through those hoops, and White said about the interim bantamweight champ, “Whether he wants to wait or not, we’re probably going to go back to him soon and have him defend it (the interim title).”
As far as who Barao could face in that interim title bout, when the name Michael McDonald was mentioned, White replied, “I think so, yeah.”
McDonald has not fought since knocking out Miguel Torres in April.
No date was speculated on for the possible bout between Barao and McDonald.
**all quotes obtained first hand by BRMMA