T.J. Dillashaw did what over 30 men couldn’t – hand Renan Barao a loss. And oh he did it in style and in a big fashion.
Dillashaw snuck the heavy punches early and it rewarded him huge, as he dropped and pummeled Barao in the fifth round until referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight at 2:22.
The former collegiate wrestler did not only take the UFC bantamweight title away, he also broke the Brazilian’s streak of 22 wins and 34 unbeaten fights. Barao lost his first fight since his professional debut in 2005.
It was obvious from the opening bell that Dillashaw didn’t want to put the fight on the ground and the gamble paid off. Squeezing his way out of trouble, Dillashaw slowly broke Barao’s defense with timely strikes and the fight nearly ended early when a right hand cross from Dillashaw knocked down Barao near the end of the first round.
Dillashaw continued the pressure all through out until that moment in the penultimate round when he landed a punch, a kick, and another punch to drop Barao flat. Dillashaw immediately pounced, landing heavy shots before Dean stepped in and waved off the fight.
Fight fans have began to rate last weekend’s upset as one of the greatest performances and upsets in UFC history and it may be the biggest of them all considering that Dillashaw is a huge underdog coming into the fight and Barao is already an established fighter who is deemed as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.
Possibilities abound as a result of the match. Dillashaw’s training mate, Urijah Faber, lost twice to Barao. Will they be facing each other in the near future? If so, will this the end of Team Alpha Male? As for Barao, a date with Dominick Cruz, whose bantamweight reign was cut after the title was stripped from him due to being unable to defend it, is highly possible.