I’ve been away for about the last ten days, visiting my girlfriend’s family, out of the loop with much of what’s gone down in the sports world, but one thing I’ve heard plenty about has been the UFC’s firing of the best cutman in sports, ‘Stitch’ Duran. A ridiculous ‘firing’ at that. Duran had stated in an interview that the UFC’s introduction of those fugly Reebok uniforms and the accompanying official sponsorship had, and will, cost him in the wallet. Nothing disparaging or remotely “anarchist against the grain, fight against the man!” crap. Just a run of the mill comment. And the UFC fired him. What a shame. As a fan, it’d be nice to see some top level fighters jump ship to Bellator in retaliation, because competition is what’s best for all businesses.
I’m excited for tonight’s free Fox card. I’ve always been a big time Joe Lauzon fan, and he’ll be fighting Takanori Gomi, which — on paper — sounds like a can’t-miss bout. Miesha Tate, as per the poster, will be facing Jessica Eye, but I haven’t watched any JE fights, so adding any commentary about that bout will be of no avail.
TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao fought last May, and the UFC world saw one of the biggest upsets of all-time, when Dillashaw decimated Barao for five rounds before finally TKO’ing him in the fifth round to capture the bantamweight title. It’s crazy how Dillashaw went from being a big time -730 underdog in the first fight to being a significant favorite in the rematch. The two were originally going to fight for the second time last August, but on the day of the weigh-ins Barao passed out and Joe Soto stepped in as a replacement, and Soto took Dillashaw to five rounds.
I think it’s batshit crazy to complete the 180 by labeling Dillashaw the unanimous favorite. Sure, he destroyed Barao for five rounds and made him look like a foolish amateur, but that was a long time ago in MMA circumstances. Fourteen long months. I’m not so sure that things will be the same. I’d like to see if Barao uses more pressure. He’s always been a counter striker that’s relied on his talent and a few specific moves to dominant opponents. Dillashaw walked into the octagon against him and used his amazing footwork and movement to flummox Barao. I’d like to believe that this fight is harder to call than the way people are acting, but I could be wrong, and hell, I probably am. Watch Dillashaw destroy Barao. But… on the other hand…
Prediction: Renan Barao via second round submission.