Barao vs. McDonald for interim Bantamweight title


With Dominick Cruz out of action for what could be another year, the UFC has moved on with putting together an interim title bout between Renan Barao and Michael McDonald. The showdown was announced on Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight although an exact date and and location have yet to be determined.

The decision was made to move forward with Barao defending the interim title he earned by defeating Urijah Faber after it was announced that Dominick Cruz reinjured his knee that has kept him out of action for 2012. Cruz had to have a second surgery that looks like it will keep him down for most, if not all, of 2013 and unable to defend his title. The bantamweight champion hasn’t fought since October of 2011 when he defeated current Flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson. Cruz had to pull out of his fight with Faber at UFC 149 and gave Barao the opportunity to fight for an interim title. Barao took a unanimous decision victory and waited to see when Cruz would return. Unfortunately, the injury to Cruz leads to great fortune for McDonald.

The 21-year-old McDonald is 15-1 and coming off of a devastating knockout victory over Miguel Torres at UFC 145 that put Torres out of the UFC. McDonald is known as a finisher that has only two of his victories to come by way of decision. The rest have been knockots and submissions. Barao hasn’t lost since his first professional fight and is riding one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MMA with 30 wins in a row.

Safe to say that this will be one hell of a fight.

  • exiting match, barao is a finisher, and so is mcdonald.
    and both have amazing records! i expect fight of the night honors

    • D

      I don't see a way it could happen in this fight, but the type of match you just described so often ends up being a cautious, overly game-planned affair.

      • @mousasi you have a point, faber vs. barao was by no means a bad fight but I expected it to be a crazy war and it was more towards a slow technical battle.. to be fair that may be due to Faber breaking a rib

        • What about the Anthony Johnson/ Dan Hardy war? That was the most disappointed I had ever been in a fight

  • Sick fight, really great match up.
    McDonald has the heavier hands and probably a speed advantage but Barao is just a really great striker in all aspects. The stand up should be great but if there is a distinct advantage it will be Barao's submission grappling.
    We haven't seen too much of McDonald's wrestling but we know that Barao can stop basically any takedown that comes his way (I say basically because Cruz probably could get a TD on him).

    I have followed Mayday for a while now and he is one of my favourite BWs but I think beating Barao is an extremely difficult task, if Barao wants to keep the fight standing it will stay standing but he might be able to implement his submissions as well if Michael does well on the feet.
    Real worthy fight for the title while Cruz is out.

  • A note for all you Jon Jones haters… Michael McDonald has a chance to become the youngest UFC champion in history, with him being 22 years old when the fight happens, and in turn has a chance to beat one of Bones Jones' records… something for you haters to hope for while waiting for his season of TUF