Originally written on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 12/6/12
Early Thursday morning, the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion announced interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao (Pictured) will make his first title defense when he faces Michael McDonald at “UFC on FUEL TV 7.” The event take place February 16th inside Wembley Arena in London, England. Barao was hoping to ride the pine until reigning 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz returns from injury, but Cruz just underwent his second surgery in five months to repair the torn ACL in his left knee.”The Dominator” is expected to be out for much of 2013. He skipped all of this year because of a hand and his initial knee operation. Barao has rattled off 29 consecutive victories en route to beating Urijah Faber for the UFC interim crown in July. The only blemish on the Brazilian’s résumé came in his professional debut in April 2005. McDonald boasts an impressive 15-1 professional record. The 21-year-old 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. FUEL TV will broadcast the main bouts live in North America. The bantamweight title tilt headlines the freebie fight card. (Picture provided by Steven Houchin of Shotgun Images)
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