Mike Easton Wants to See Renan Barao Defend Interim Belt

UFC bantamweight Mike Easton is a good friend and occasional training partner of divisional champion Dominick Cruz. While his relationship with the injured Cruz could cause issues at some point down the road, for the time being Easton is focused on his December 8 rumble with Raphael Assuncao at UFC on FOX 5 and a potential showdown with interim title-holder Renan Barao if he comes away with a victory.

Barao’s camp has remained cautious about the Brazilian putting his belt up for grabs instead of waiting for Cruz to return from a major knee injury, the 13-1 Easton doesn’t think it’s fair to deny other worthy competitors (including himself) of an opportunity at taking the weight class’ top spot.

“As far as Renan Barao saying he’s going to hold onto the belt and wait – no, he can’t babysit the belt. Me personally, I’m like, ‘No, you can’t do that buddy’. Our job is to fight, our job is to put on a show for the fans – that’s what they pay for and the UFC pays us to fight. So you can’t babysit the belt unless you’re hurt or you’re injured. And if you’re hurt or you’re injured, I’m pretty sure you’re going to have to give that belt up and that’s just what it is.”

“I agree with UFC President Dana White. If Michael McDonald is next in line to fight Renan Barao, well that’s who’s next in line to fight Renan Barao. My chance and opportunity is going to come and you guys are going to definitely see me fight those top of the line guys real soon. That’s just is what it is.”

“I’m a patient fellow, I’m not in a rush. I’m enjoying fighting in the UFC and that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve had two years off so I’m taking my time and I’m going to enjoy it.”

SOURCE: MMA Fight Corner