Renan Barao at UFC 138The idea of an UFC interim championship is for a new titleholder to be crowned when one of the promotion’s champions is expected to sit out a significant amount of time due to injury. That interim belt holder, theoretically, is in place to keep the division moving forward, while the injured champion is out of action.

The problem is, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way much recently with the UFC allowing interim titleholders to wait for the injured champion to return.

That is what was originally expected to happen with interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão, who won the title with a victory over Urijah Faber at UFC 149 in July. Barão indicated that he would like to wait for champion Dominick Cruz to return from a severe knee injury before fighting again.

The UFC initially seemed like they would allow him to wait, but with so many fight cards already making the schedule for early 2013, UFC president Dana White said on Saturday night that Barão is likely to be fighting before Cruz returns to action.

“We were talking about Barão defending his title now,” revealed White. “Whether he wants to wait or not, we’re going to go back to him probably soon here and have him defend it.”

Although nothing is on the books just yet, White indicated that the likely challenger to Barão’s interim belt would be Michael McDonald.

Stay tuned to for all the latest UFC news and updates.

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