The proper champ of the division, Dominick Cruz, has been out of action since October 2011, having suffered a knee injury and complications related to knee surgery. With a timetable of return for early 2014 though, it looks like Cruz will get the chance to reclaim the division's throne from the very impressive Barao.
"I want to fight the best guy when I come back. I think I can challenge him and I know I can beat him," Cruz said of Barao. "I can really trick him out. I want to prove to the world why I have the title. I look at it as a chess match. He mixes it up better than anyone in the division. I'm ready for that and I cannot wait."
For his part, Barao is eager and willing to face Cruz, so that he can claim the division's true title.
"I'm hoping he recovers as fast as possible so we can put on a great show for the public," said the interim champ.
UFC president Dana White has said that if Cruz is unable to return by early 2014, he may have to award the true title to Barao. With Cruz having now spent over two years out of the game, there's nothing unfair about that.
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