UFC to enforce strict time limits on interim titles
Dominick Cruz will be stripped off his bantamweight belt if he will not be ready to defend it by February next year
It seems like bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz will be the last fighter to hold on to his the belt without defending it for a long period of time. The Dominator was injured in May of 2012 and is sidelined up to February next year. That is more than 2 years of inactivity and the champ would probably have fought 3 times if weren’t for the injury. He was supposed to face Urijah Faber in a rematch for the bantamweight belt before he suffered from a torn ACL. He was replaced by Renan Barao and the Brazilian eventually won the interim title by outpointing Faber. Barao has defended the belt two times and he won both of those fights in a spectacular fashion. It should also be noted that it is the first time for an interim champion to defend the belt twice.
Barao’s string of dominant performances makes it difficult for UFC officials to limit him with the “interim” label. UFC president Dana White has stated that he and the management of UFC are working on an exact time limit on how long the promotion should allow a champ to be sidelined before stripping them off the title.
“We have thought about it, and we will do it,” White said on Monday. “We’re probably going to do that soon.”
White says that he felt bad for Dominick’s injury but admits that he was too soft on him and allowed the champ to hold the belt for an extended period. In any event, the UFC has already decided on Cruz and gave him an ultimatum: he should be ready to defend the belt by February next year or he will be stripped off the title. White also added that Dominick has been training now and that he is confident that he can return in the octagon before the aforementioned date.
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