When Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz went down with a torn knee ligament, attention immediately turned to opponent Urijah Faber and who he could face in an interim title bout at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas.
The name of Renan “Barao” Pegado topped many a list. Still scheduled to meet Ivan Menjivar at the event, the 25-year-old Brazilian was humbled by the suggestion. Pegado (28-1), on an 18-fight winning streak, last fought at UFC 143 in February, when he captured a unanimous decision from Scott Jorgensen.
“I’m watching the campaign on Twitter and Facebook,” Pegado told Sherdog.com. “It’s nice to be remembered, but it’s in God’s hands.”
The Nova Uniao representative has his hands full with Menjivar, who has rattled off three consecutive victories, two of them finishes, since he returned to the UFC in 2011.
“I’m training for Menjivar,” Pegado said. “The UFC hasn’t told me anything. I’ll face whoever they put in front of me.”
Still, Pegado admits he has already imagined himself across the cage from Cruz or Faber.
“My training is directed at Ivan,” he said. “Of course, I would be glad to fight Faber in July, but I know one day it will happen. When the time comes, I’ll be prepared for him and for anyone else.”
Allan Oliveira contributed to this report.