Originally written on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
As we all know full well, the Octagon show waits for no man. With reigning UFC bantamweight king Dominick Cruz expected to be sidelined for much of 2013 recovering from his second knee operation in five months, interim 135-pound champ Renan Barao (Pictured) will be forced to defend his manufactured belt prior to Cruz’s return. UFC president Dana White confirmed Barao will put his strap up for grabs against skyrocketing 21-year-old Michael McDonald sometime in early 2013. White did not provide an exact date or location for the shootout. Barao was hoping to ride the pine until Cruz returns from injury, but it appears he won’t receive the Carlos Condit treatment. The Brazilian has rattled off 29 consecutive victories en route to beating Urijah Faber for the UFC interim crown in July. McDonald boasts an impressive 15-1 professional record. He was last seen putting Miguel Torres to sleep at UFC 145. “Mayday” would become the youngest champion in company history if he snaps Barao’s dominant run. Reigning light heavyweight champ Jon Jones currently owns the moniker after capturing the 205-pound crown at the age of 24. Cruz just had the torn ACL in his left knee surgically repaired again last week. ‘The Dominator” hasn’t defended his throne since posting a unanimous decision win over Demetrious Johnson in October 2011. (Picture provided by Steven Houchin of Shotgun Images)
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

MMA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.