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Barao Will Fight “Whoever” if Cruz Not Ready

Kelsey Mowatt

Renan Barao

Although the anticipation of a scrap between Renan Barao and Dominick Cruz might heighten, every time the interim bantamweight champ fights and wins, its a bout that needs to happen sooner than later. Since Cruz has unfortunately been sidelined for over two years now due to knee surgery, if the champ can’t return in early 2014, it looks like he’ll be stripped of the title.

But what if Cruz can’t fight, as hoped, in the upcoming months? Has Barao targeted someone else for his next challenge? While speaking to MMA recently, the renowned fighter stated:

“No preference,” Barao said. “I’m training to face whoever shows up. Whoever comes, I’ll show what I’ve been working on.”

Part of this is because Barao has repeatedly said he wants to throw down with Cruz, who injury or not, is widely regarded to be one of the planet’s best fighters.

“What Dana White decided was that in February, either Dominick is coming back, or he’s making a decision,” Barao said. “I hope he comes back because I want to be able to fight him for everyone.”

“I have to fight him to take off that little [asterisk] that’s still on my record. We have a score to settle.”

It is pretty cool to think that February, could in theory, feature both Jones-Teixeira and Cruz-Barao. Hopefully Cruz gets cleared for his comeback soon.

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