"My goal was to fight him because I wanted to unify the belts, but unfortunately he isn't in any condition for that," Barao said.
Cruz's injury would seem to clear the way for Barao to face McDonald, an opponent UFC President Dana White casually mentioned in recent weeks as a likely contender for the interim belt.
Barao admits he was already anticipating a potential fight with "Mayday" even before the news of Cruz's second procedure surfaced.
"I already had it in my mind that I could fight McDonald," Barao said. "He's coming off of good wins and good knockouts. It makes sense."
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