Current Interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao has spoken of a brief conversation with Dominick Cruz where the latter suggested he will return to the Octagon as early as February next year. Cruz, who was in attendance at UFC 163 last weekend in Brazil met up with the interim champ at the event.

“We only exchanged a few words because my English isn’t that good,” Barao told “He told me he’s returning [to fighting] in February. I was really happy to hear that. I hope he can return so we can finally fight.”

Cruz last appeared in the UFC Octagon on October 1st 2011, when he defended his title against current flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

For Barao, he has posted a 4-0 record since Cruz dropped out of contention with wins over Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen, Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald. And despite having to pull out of a title defence against Eddie Wineland back in June, he is set to defend his interim title at UFC 165 on September 21st against Wineland.

“My focus now is on Wineland,” Barao said. “He’s a tough dude, has been doing great fight. I’m well trained and I will set a good strategy to do my best on September 21st.”