With bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz now likely to be out until late next year due to ACL surgery, the UFC are putting plans in place to keep the division moving in the mean-time.
That means interim champion Renan Barao won’t be able to sit on the sidelines and wait for his title shot as he’d hoped.
Instead Dana White has confirmed that he will defend his interim belt against Michael McDonald at some stage in 2013.
Barao comfortably outpointed Urijah Faber earlier this year to win the interim title, further extending one of the most impressive unbeaten runs in the sport to 30 fights.
Meanwhile, McDonald boasts just one loss in 16 fights himself, and also could lay claim to having the heaviest hands in the division with KO wins over Miguel Torres and Alex Soto in his last two Octagon outings.