Renan Barao continues to be the man to beat in the UFC bantamweight division, thanks to his stoppage win over Eddie Wineland at UFC 165, and because reigning champ Dominick Cruz is still on the sidelines. While there’s no question that Barao has risen to become one of the promotion’s best fighters, and is reaping some of the rewards as a result, his trainer has revealed the champ could be doing much better.
Barao’s head coach, the renowned Andre Pederneiras, recently had this to say about the fighter’s financial situation while appearing on MMA Junkie.com Radio:
“He’s very frustrated because he needs to make money,” Pederneiras said. “So many sponsors here in Brazil are not sponsoring him because he’s not the real champion from the UFC. He’s the interim champion. He’s losing money every day.
“The sponsors here want a real champion. A linear champion.”
Now, Barao also won an extra 50K for “Knockout of the Night” at UFC 165, but it has to be frustrating for the 26 year-old if he can’t earn more cash because of the interim label. The good news, of course, is that Dominick Cruz is reportedly on track for his long awaited return in early 2014. Then we’ll all get to see who is left as the bantamweight champ.
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