On a technical level they already did crowning an interim champion. In my opinion going out injured as the champ just gives you a "golden ticket" (as Sonnen would call it) when you get back... you're in a title fight right off the bat, but you facing the man who took over the yard while you were gone. In GSP's prefight interviews to the Condit fight, he claimed he saw Carlos as the champ, I agreed.
Hmm. While i would see Barao as the real champ after 1-2 defenses, there's no way i saw Condit as one. He didn't do anything with the belt. A real champ would've put it on the line, not wait for the actual champ to return.