UFC 135 pound champion Dominick Cruz was stripped of his title on Monday December 6, 2014. Dana White made the announcement during a live segment of sports center. Dominick Cruz hasn’t defended the title since October 1, 2011. This sets up an opportunity for the interim champion Renan Barão to finally become the actual champion but standing in his way is Urijah Faber. These two men fought the first time July 2, 2012 in a fight where Renan got the decision in route to winning the interim title. This rematch set for February 1, 2014 which happens to be the Saturday before the Super Bowl looks to be an interesting matchup. Can Urijah correct what went wrong in the first fight? How much better has Barão gotten between the last fight.

Dominick Cruz is now in a position where he is no longer champion even though he never lost the belt in the cage. Cruz has struggled with an ACL injury and now with a groin injury a lot of questions can be raised before the champion steps back into the octagon. While the former champion isn’t in an enviable position he can now consider taking an opponent that will not be as challenging as Barão or Faber.

I don’t think Dominick Cruz imagined this is the way his UFC career would have gone thus far.  Since signing with the company he fought his biggest rival Urijah Faber at UFC 132 then defeated the arguable 2013 fighter of the year Demetrious Johnson. He was then given an opportunity to coach against his rival Urijah in the debut of a new concept Ultimate Fighter: Live. This was the first presentation of the 15 season old concept of the Ultimate Fighter. It was while this show was airing that Dominick came down with the ACL tear.

I hope the best turns out for Cruz. I am looking forward to Barão and Faber. They are two of the best in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Faber is undefeated in non-title fights and  Barão hasn’t lost since his first fight which took place April 14, 2005. I am looking forward to this fight!

— Alex Goff (@alexgoff84)