• UFC 154

Barao to be asked to fight Michael McDonald

ESPN staff
November 18, 2012
Renan Barao is coming off a win over Urijah Faber © Getty Images

UFC president Dana White has revealed it is likely Renan Barao will defend his UFC interim bantamweight title against Michael McDonald.

Barao is currently waiting for the return of champion Dominick Cruz from ACL surgery, which it is understood may not happen until the summer of 2013.

As a result, White is keen for Barao to keep the division active, as any interim belt holder should do. The Brazilian, who has gone on a 30-fight unbeaten run, has previously said he will wait for Cruz, but White plans to change his mind.

"We were talking about Barao defending his title now," White said. "Whether he wants to wait or not, we're going to go back to him soon probably here and have him defend it."

Asked if McDonald would be the challenger, White said, "I think so, yeah."

McDonald is coming off an 18-second knockout of Miguel Torres and is 15-1 in his career. He had been targeted as a next rival by England's Brad Pickett, but needed to be held back for this very scenario.

As a result, Pickett is heading for a collision with Eddie Wineland at UFC 155.

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