Bantamweight title holder Dominick Cruz will have not fought in two years come this October. Since July of 2012, Renan Barao has held the interim title, and he has defended it once over Michael MacDonald. He will defend it once again against Eddie Wineland which if he comes out with the win will tie him with Cruz for total defenses. This puts the promotion in a weird place where the champion has not been healthy to come back, but the interim champion is most likely tired of having the title of interim before champion. What is the UFC to do?
Well, it looks like Dana White has figured out the problem. He is essentially giving Cruz a timetable for his return, because if he cannot defend his title by early 2014 then he will be stripped of it. While that is an unfortunate situation it is the only fair thing for them to do, even more so if Barao still holds the title. There is a lot of problems that are incurred by this logjam at the title.
Urijah Faber is ont he way back toward a title shot, but his last fight with Barao is a hard fight to watch. Plus, a rubber match with Cruz can make big money for the UFC, and is one of the biggest fights the UFC can put on at 135. Also, Michael MacDonald, although one fight removed from a title shot, is a big prospect in the division. He would be a fresh face for Cruz to face, but eh cannot fight Barao so quick again since he has a submission loss to the Brazilian. Of course all of this changes if Wineland captures the title, but that is a big if.