If the abysmal ratings of The Ultimate Fighter 15 are any indication (hint: they are), then most of you are likely not up to speed on the happenings of this season, and I’m no exception. For instance, I couldn’t even name one of the participants still competing (Steve Sicilia?), nor could I tell you which phase of the tournament we are currently in. I chalk up my lack of enthusiasm over TUF 15 to the show’s shift to Friday nights, because personally, I’d rather get bombed on a mixture of hand grenades and PBR and hit on a mid-30′s divorcee with lowered self-esteem then watch Team Faber strip down and get a good sweat on in Team Cruz’s locker room, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But this Friday’s episode may mark the first time in the season that you and I might actually want to hold off on the brain damage and sexual harassment lawsuits for the time being.
After it was revealed that Dominick Cruz had suffered an ACL injury and would be forced out of his trilogy fight with Urijah Faber in last week’s episode, Dana White announced that during this week’s episode, he would reveal Cruz’s replacement. The mystery opponent will square off against Faber at UFC 148 for the interim bantamweight title, because the UFC simply can’t have enough interim champs at one time.
Rumors instantly started springing up that everyone from Michael McDonald, who is coming off a brilliant knockout of former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, to Renan Barao, who is currently scheduled to face Ivan Menjivar at the same event, would be next in line for a crack at Urijah. However, Barao recently told Tatame that the UFC had yet to contact him on the potential of facing Faber, but that he would be more than willing if the opportunity presented itself:
It would be great. Actually, I fight any guy UFC tells me to. I’m prepared and I can fight anyone.
I started my preparation and I’ll fight anyone they tell me to. I’ll be prepared to go there and do a good jog and a good fight. My focus in on Menjivar. It’s all speculations, bets. I’m slated to fight Menjivar.
It’s a fans thing. They want it to happen. People on Facebook and Twitter want me to be in this fight and Faber himself pointed me out. The champion got injured and Faber is fighting. I’d be really glad to confront him. That’s all. They haven’t say anything to me.
So who do you think will be the man to step up, Potato Nation? And if not Barao or McDonald, then who else?
Personally, I’m hopping on the quickly growing bandwagon of people that think we should just cut our losses and have Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin duke it out again for old time’s sake. Any other takers?