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

CM Punk, Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, More Face Off at UFC 203 Presser (Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 19 views

Things got tense as Stipe Miocic squared off with Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne had words, and CM Punk and Mickey Gall went face-to-face. read news >>

Jessica Eye and Bethe Correia Nearly Brawl at UFC 203 Weigh-ins (Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 102 views

Things always get a little tense when fighters face off at UFC weigh-ins, but things nearly erupted when Jessica Eye and Bethe Correia got off the scale. read news >>

Breaking Down Cris Cyborg's UFC Headliner | MMAWeekly.com

  • 9 days ago
  • 22 views

Cris "Cyborg" Justino is preparing to headline her first UFC event ever. Tyron Woodley and Dan Hardy break down her match-up with Lina Lansberg. read news >>

Dana White Denies Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez for UFC 205 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 days ago
  • 162 views

Dana White on Tuesday squashed dreams of a Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez UFC 205 headliner... or did he? read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 official weigh-in results: 'Cyborg' uses the extra pound, but headliner set

  • 5 days ago
  • 10 views

MMAjunkie was on scene and reporting live from today’s official (early) UFC Fight Night 95 fighter weigh-ins, and after much discussion earlier in the week, headliners Cristiane Justino and Lina Lans read news >>

Bellator 163 takes shape with Liam McGeary vs. Phil Davis title headliner

  • 5 days ago
  • 8 views

The lineup is taking shape for November’s Bellator 163 event.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Video replay: UFC Fight Night 95 weigh-ins with 'Cyborg' headliner in Brasilia

  • 5 days ago
  • 33 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Check out a video replay of today’s ceremonial UFC Fight Night 95 fighter weigh-ins.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Once UFC Fight Night 95's Vicente Luque got his loss out of the way, things got better

  • 4 days ago
  • 7 views

“The Ultimate Fighter 21” veteran Vicente Luque started his professional octagon career with a loss to fellow cast member Michael Graves, but the setback wound up being a positive.Filed under: News, read news >>

Finally freed of the scale, UFC Fight Night 95 co-headliner Renan Barao is not 'scared' of 145-pounders

  • 4 days ago
  • 10 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Since moving up from the bantamweight division, former UFC champ Renan Barao might be walking around heavier – but, as far as his spirits go, he certainly feels lighter.Filed under read news >>

Conor McGregor gets lightweight title shot, challenges Eddie Alvarez in UFC 205 headliner

  • a day ago
  • 24 views

One of the most monumental fight cards in UFC history will get a monumental main event. UFC featherweight champ [autotag]Conor McGregor[/autotag] will attempt to add lightweight gold to his collectio read news >>