On May 24 of this year (2014), TJ Dillashaw shocked the world when he resoundingly defeated bantamweight champion Renan Barao at UFC 173 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Needing less than the full 25 minutes of the match, Dillashaw impressively dominated Barao over all four rounds, finally putting his opponent away in the early part of the fifth stanza with a TKO head kick.
Yet, for as stellar as Dillashaw looked, the win failed to earn him a new challenge. As such, Dillashaw’s first title defense will be against the very man that he defeated to earn the title, Renan Barao.
Dillashaw vs. Barao II is set to transpire in San Jose, California, this coming August 30 at UFC 177 and for Dillashaw, he’s confident that he’ll retain his belt.
Speaking with the Brazilian press, the 28-year-old Dillashaw stated that he had expected a “little tougher fight” with Barao and that next time they meet he (Dillashaw) will be a “better” version of his UFC 173 self.
Indeed, Dillashaw is so confident in his skill set that he believes that he would beat Barao “ten out of ten times.”
For hardcore Barao fans that might be difficult to take. The 27-year-old Brazilian stands a record of 32 – 2 – 1 (NC) and except for a debut decision loss in April of 2005, and his TKO defeat to Dillashaw at UFC 173, Barao has been perfect in his career. As such, Barao’s fans are likely to believe a rematch will go their way and that Barao just had an off night against Dillashaw in Las Vegas.
However, if it was an off night for Barao then it was a heck of an off night, because Dillashaw didn’t just beat the Brazilian, he embarrassed him. And if he is to have any hope of getting his belt back then he’s apt to need the greatest performance of his life to do it, because Dillashaw is sending clear signals that he plans on holding onto his title for a while.
For his thoughts on it all, here’s TJ Dillashaw.
Video courtesy of Sexto Round