eddie-wineland-15.jpgThe way Eddie Wineland is looking at things, Renan Barao might be holding on to a belt, but he’s just renting it. And for that matter, Dominick Cruz, too.

Wineland (20-8-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) was hoping for a title shot. He did the things guys do when they want one – he re-tweeted fans’ Twitter comments to him telling him and UFC President Dana White that he should be next in line. But mostly, he talked with his fists.

Wineland this past June became the first person to knock out Scott Jorgensen. And then he further put himself at the forefront when he beat Brad Pickett at UFC 155 in December. That Pickett long has been one of White’s favorite fighters to watch maybe helped his cause, too.

Earlier this month, he got the call for his next fight, and it was the best-case scenario. Wineland will meet interim bantamweight champion Barao (30-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the main event of UFC 161 on June 15 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

It’s a shot at redemption for Wineland. He was the first 135-pound champion in World Extreme Cagefighting history. He beat Antonio Banuelos for the belt at WEC 20. But in his first defense, he dropped a decision to Chase Beebe at WEC 26 in the second show after Zuffa purchased the promotion.

Beebe lost the title to Miguel Torres, Torres lost it to Brian Bowles, Bowles lost it to Cruz, and now Cruz is sidelined and may be through much of 2013 – which necessitated the interim belt in the first place, which Barao won in a fight against Urijah Faber.

But all those titleholders, and Wineland believes he’s merely going after what’s his in June, anyway.

“That’s my belt originally from the WEC days,” Wineland told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Now it’s my time to put it in the hands of the original owner.”

Wineland closed out his WEC career with four straight wins, including back-to-back “Knockout of the Night” bonuses. But his first tests in the UFC were stiff ones.

He won the first round against Faber in the co-main event of UFC 128 in what was a title eliminator. But he couldn’t stop Faber’s takedowns in the second and third and dropped a 29-28 unanimous decision. His next fight out was against Faber teammate Joseph Benavidez, who seemed to be just a little quicker to the punch against him all night in a sweep of the scorecards.

But the Indiana resident bounced back in a big way with the Jorgensen win, then Pickett, and those two wins over Top 10 bantamweights, combined with what the UFC would have to consider quality losses to Faber and Benavidez, have him right at the top ready for Barao.

“Barao poses a lot of problems, but I’m ready for them,” he said. “He’s never fought someone like me. I’m going to push the pace, get in his face and make him fight my fight.”

Barao, of course, is the owner of a remarkable 31-fight unbeaten streak. In February, he stopped Michael McDonald with a fourth-round rear-naked choke in his first defense of the interim belt. And with Cruz obviously not back before summer, the UFC elected to keep Barao busy while figuring out what will happen next with Cruz.

But that gives Wineland what will be an extensive camp to go after what first was his, even though it was seven years ago.

“I’m extremely excited and have three months to prepare,” he said. “This will be my longest and best training camp – I’ll be better prepared for this fight than any of the others.

“Fighting for the belt is as big as it gets – it’s what everyone in MMA wants the most: the UFC belt, the most prized possession in MMA.”

Wineland’s been without it for seven years, but he just believes getting it back has always been inevitable.

For the latest on UFC 161, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Jon Jones Set to Meet Dan Henderson Grappling Headliner | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 35 views

Jon Jones may be under a one-year suspension that won’t end until July of 2017, but he does have his next competition tentatively scheduled. read news >>

Champ Eddie Alvarez expecting to 'do something violent' against McGregor in UFC 205 headliner

  • 25 days ago
  • 4 views

NEW YORK – For anyone concerned that Eddie Alvarez will look to grind out Conor McGregor for five rounds in the UFC 205 main event, the reigning UFC lightweight champ said that’s not how he envisions read news >>

Fireworks Backstage Following UFC 205 Pre-Fight Press Conference | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 80 views

Things got heated between the main event fighters during the UFC 205 pre-fight press conference and spilled over to backstage for the women's strawweights. read news >>

Legacy FC 62 highlights: How much did this eye-poke affect the headlining title fight?

  • 22 days ago
  • 33 views

Few things can affect a fight like an accidental eye-poke, as we learned in Friday’s Legacy FC 62 headliner.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Photo gallery: The many weights of UFC 205 headliner Conor McGregor

  • 22 days ago
  • 19 views

Tonight at UFC 205, featherweight champion Conor McGregor not only looks to make history as the first simultaneous two-division titleholder in UFC history, but he also hopes to join an elite group of read news >>

Ahead of T-Mobile Arena headliner, undefeated boxing champ Sergey Kovalev latest to support Conor McGregor

  • 20 days ago
  • 33 views

There was a time when it seemed boxers and mixed martial artists didn’t have too many kind words for each other. Those times are changing.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Eddie Alvarez on Conor McGregor Fight: "It was a for sure death sentence" | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 898 views

To say things didn't go as planned for Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 would be an understatement, and he points the finger squarely at himself. read news >>

Video: Before Saturday's main-event rematch, watch the first Uriah Hall vs. Gegard Mousasi fight

  • 19 days ago
  • 22 views

Before their rematch and headliner at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 99 event, check out the first fight between Uriah Hall and Gegard Mousasi.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

On 3-year anniversary of Georges St-Pierre's last fight, we're still doing things the hard way

  • 18 days ago
  • 14 views

Three years ago today, Georges St-Pierre fought his last UFC fight before bidding us a temporary farewell. Now he’s trying to come back, and the battle is harder than we ever could have expected, and read news >>

UFC Fight Night 99 headliner Gegard Mousasi sees title path going through Hall, then Rockhold

  • 18 days ago
  • 13 views

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Although Gegard Mousasi has mentioned his desire to rematch Uriah Hall time and time again since suffering a massive upset loss to "Primetime" at UFC Fight Night 75 in Sep read news >>