Renan Barao to Defend UFC Interim Title Against Michael McDonald

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Renan Barão put on a virtuous display in his first-round win over Brad Pickett. Photo: UFC publicity

UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will defend his title against Michael McDonald, UFC president Dana White said on Tuesday night.

White told the UFC Tonight show on FUEL TV that Barao (29-1) will fight McDonald (15-1) some time in 2013. A date and venue for the interim title fight is yet to be announced.

The announcement comes 24 hours after it was reported that current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz’s return from injury will be delayed following a second surgery to his knee.

With Cruz on the shelf for longer than expected, Barao and McDonald will battle in the meantime. The winner will face Cruz upon the champion’s return.

Barao has decimated his way through the UFC’s bantamweight ranks, most recently topping Urijah Faber for the interim belt at UFC 149 in July. The Brazilian fighter holds a remarkable 29-fight unbeaten streak (one fight being a no-contest) since losing in his professional MMA debut in 2005.

McDonald has created an impressive streak of his own, winning eight consecutive fights, six of which were finishes. Arguably, McDonald’s biggest win came in his last outing when he knocked out former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres in the first round at UFC 145. will update the date and venue for the interim title fight as more information becomes available.

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