Renan Barao Now Fights Urijah Faber at UFC 169, Dominick Cruz Hurt (Again) and Vacates Title

Written by Tom Ngo
January 6th, 2014

UFC Bantamweight Dominick Cruz

The injury bug clearly has no love for UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (pictured). On Monday’s edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter, UFC president Dana White announced the injury-prone Cruz has now torn his groin and will be forced out of next month’s bantamweight title unification bout against interim champ Renan Barao.

The UFC has stripped Cruz of his hardware.

Barao will now meet Urijah Faber at UFC 169.

Cruz hasn’t defended his belt since posting a unanimous decision win over Demetrious Johnson in October 2011. He had his broken left index finger operated on in January 2012, then tore his knee while filming “The Ultimate Fighter Live.” White previously stated he was going to strip “The Dominator” of his crown if he wasn’t able to return against Barao.

Cruz owns a dominant 19-1 professional record. The lone blemish on his résumé came in a submission loss to Faber back in March of 2007.

No word on how long Cruz’s latest setback will force him to ride the pine.

Barao hasn’t lost a scrap since his professional debut in April 2005. That was 32 fights ago, which includes one no contest in the middle of his torrid run. He collected the interim title by beating Faber at UFC 149 and has since defended the manufactured belt twice.

Faber holds an impressive 30-6 pro mark. However, all six of his defeats have come in championship affairs. “The California Kid” will be riding a four-fight winning streak into the rematch.

UFC 169 takes place February 1 inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Cruz vs. Barao was slated to headline the pay-per-view broadcast, even though featherweight king Jose Aldo will be putting his crown up for grabs against Ricardo Lamas that same evening. Despite the switcheroo, Barao will retain the card’s top spot for his sequel with Faber.

Here is the show’s revised roster:

Clint Hester vs. Andy Enz

Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov

John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov

Chris Cariaso vs. Kyoji Horiguchi

Alan Patrick vs. John Makdessi

Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee

Tony Martin vs. Rashid Magomedov

Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson

Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo

Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir

Ricardo Lamas vs. Jose Aldo (UFC featherweight champion)

Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao (UFC bantamweight champion)

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