I don’t want to hear Renan Barao’s excuses.
At UFC 173, when he lost the bantamweight title to Team Alpha Male member TJ Dillashaw, he looked dumbfounded when Dillashaw picked him apart for five rounds and TKO’ed him a little over two minutes into the fifth round.
Barao produced a little bit offense in the fight, but not enough to deter Dillashaw from doing virtually anything he wanted to in return. Dillashaw executed his own gameplan perfectly. In all of my time watching MMA, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a more surprisingly dominant performance by an underdog in a fight, ever.
Dillashaw’s foot movement and mixed bag of punches and kicks helped him control the fight and eventually finish off Barao. Barao’s usual ability to apply pressure and speed the fight up was nonexistent.
The second fight, I have a feeling that it’s going to have a different feel. It obviously will. Both fighters — by then — will have had three months to prepare and make adjustments. My head is leaning towards Barao winning the title back, but that’s only because he had not lost — before May’s UFC 173 — since 2005. Dillashaw neutralized him.
If Dillashaw does the same thing to Barao he did to him in the first fight, it’s over (duh?), but I can’t help but imagine that Barao isn’t going to look as confused and lackadaisical as he did in May. I’ll cover this more when the day of UFC 177 rolls around (August 30th).
I will say this, however: instead of Barao getting a rematch, I wish that Dillashaw would have fought Raphael Assuncao for the title. As I’ve said so many times in the recent past, I’m sick of rematches (albeit the Assuncao fight would’ve been a rematch).