"I'm not out for recognition," Barao told MMAjunkie.com following his knockout win over Eddie Wineland (20-9-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at UFC 165. "That's not my job, it's in God's hands being recognized or not. I'm a fighter, I like what I'm doing, and the recognition is not up to me."
Despite the fact Barao (31-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is undefeated in the UFC and is the owner of an incredible 31-fight winning streak, some, including UFC president Dana White, feel the Brazilian doesn't get the credit he deserves.
"You know how hard it is to go eight years undefeated?" White asked. "Seriously, think about that. He doesn't get enough credit for the record he has and what this guy is capable of doing, and it's not just like he's undefeated and the goes to decision and outpoints you. This dude f---ing destroys you."
Barao knocked out Wineland in the co-main event of Saturday night's UFC 165 event in Toronto, a victory that marked his second successful interim title defense.
Following the win, it is expected that Barao will next face Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who holds the UFC bantamweight title but has been sidelined for nearly two years due to injury.
Viewers of the sport are eager to see that matchup as it would determine once and for all who is the best 135-pound fighter in the world, but Barao said he doesn't care who he faces next because he already feels the status of the division's top fighter belongs to him.
"I consider myself the champion," Barao said through an interpreter. "I'm just waiting for the UFC to make it official and give me the belt.
"I fight anywhere, anyone. I'm just here doing my job and training hard everyday, so I just want to fight."
UFC officials are targeting a return to the octagon for Cruz in early 2014. However, White has stated repeatedly in recent weeks that if "The Dominator" is unable to compete by the expected return date, the UFC will have to seek alternative options.
And even though the nature of Barao's victory left many to believe he is truly the No. 1 fighter in the division, White said he is going to take some time before making any hasty decisions.
"I think what makes sense is to wait and see what happens with Cruz and do the Cruz fight next," White said when asked who could be next for Barao. "So we'll see what happens with Cruz. We'll go from there, and if he can't fight we'll do something else."