Cruz out as UFC champion, Barao vs. Faber at UFC 169

Reigning UFC MMA bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, left,

Reigning UFC MMA bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, left, from San Diego, and interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, right, from Rio de Janeiro, pose for photos after a news conference in New York. (Nov. 20, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Dominick Cruz pulled out of his bantamweight title fight at UFC 169 on Super Bowl Weekend with a groin tear, UFC president Dana White announced Monday on ESPN.

Cruz has been out for more than two years rehabbing from a pair of knee injuries. White said Cruz has been removed as the promotion's champion and interim title holder Renan Barao has been installed as the UFC's official bantamweight champion.

Barao will defend the title against Urijah Faber the night before the Super Bowl at The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Faber went 4-0 in 2013, including a second-round submission of Michael McDonald on Dec. 14.

Cruz (19-1) last defended his title on Oct. 1, 2011, with a unanimous decision victory over Demetrious Johnson. While coaching against Faber on Season 15 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and preparing for that fight at UFC 149, Cruz tore his anterior cruciate ligament. He re-tore it months later while rehabbing the first injury.

Barao took Cruz's spot at UFC 149 and beat Faber by unanimous decision to win the interim title on July 21, 2012. Barao has twice since defended that interim title with Cruz out.

UFC 169 also includes Jose Aldo defending his featherweight title against Ricardo Lamas.

UFC 169 FIGHT CARD (as of Jan. 6)

Main card on PPV

Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber (bantamweight championship)

Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas (featherweight championship)

Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem

John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov

Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo

Prelims on Fox Sports 1

John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick

Chris Cariaso vs. Kyoji Horiguchi

Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson

Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee

Online prelims

Clint Hester vs. Andy Enz

Tony Martin vs. Rashid Magomedov

Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov

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