Power Rankings: Bantamweight
Wednesday, March 20
It was October of 2011 when Dominick Cruz last defended his title against Demetrious Johnson. Since then, Johnson has went on to win a flyweight grand prix in becoming the division's inaugural champion, while Cruz has had two procedures to repair a torn ACL. By the time he returns, it will have been close to two full years away. In that span, Renan Barao has stepped in admirably. He defeated Urijah Faber to win the interim strap, and then defended it against upstart Michael McDonald in London. With Cruz still recovering and no real timetable set for his return, Barao will next face Eddie Wineland in June at UFC 161. You can see the funny thing that's happening here. The division is slowly becoming Barao's, and it'll be Cruz's job to take back what's his when he's healthy enough to do so. Talk about a mammoth task! But for now, Cruz will not appear in the Bantamweight or Pound-for-Pound Power Rankings until he returns. That means Renan Barao tops this week's list.