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White: Barao v McDonald to happen in 2013

ESPN staff
December 5, 2012
Michael McDonald brings knockout power © Getty Images

Renan Barao will defend his bantamweight title against Michael McDonald in 2013, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Tuesday.

Barao had been waiting for the return of champion Dominick Cruz to the 135lb ocean, but a major setback in his recovery from knee surgery will keep Cruz sidelined for much of 2013.

In his absence Barao will be asked to defend his interim belt, with McDonald the clear challenger. ESPN first reported the potential bout in November, but now White has confirmed Barao will be forced to stay active in the absence of Cruz.

The president told UFC Tonight of the developments, although he could not reveal the date or venue for the fight.

Barao is coming off a win over Urijah Faber, which extended his undefeated streak to 29 fights. McDonald, at 21 years of age, is undefeated in the UFC and knocked out Miguel Torres in his last outing.

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