Dillashaw: 'I Don't Know If Barao Had Enough Time to Recover from May's Beating'

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IAugust 25, 2014

May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; TJ Dillashaw (blue) pins down  Renan Barao (red) during their UFC 173 bantamweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Dillashaw won the bout by way of TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw certainly isn't lacking confidence heading into his UFC 177 title defense against Renan Barao

The first UFC titleholder in Team Alpha Male history, Dillashaw questioned if his Brazilian counterpart was ready to fight him again based on his comments on Twitter

Dillashaw met Barao at UFC 173 in May, where "The Baron" was riding an incredible 33-fight unbeaten streak. 

While many had it down as a quick finish for Barao, "The Viper" had other plans, effortlessly outstriking the champ for four-and-a-half rounds. 

Halfway through the fifth and final round, Dillashaw dropped Barao with a headkick and finally finished him off with subsequent punches on the ground. 

As expected, the matchup was awarded "Fight of the Night" honors, while Dillashaw was predictably awarded a second "Performance of the Night" bonus. 

Dillashaw has won six of his past seven contests, with his sole blemish during that 18-month span being a controversial split-decision loss to Raphael Assuncao in October 2013.

Obviously, striking coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig has improve Dillashaw's game by leaps and bounds since losing to John Dodson at the season 14 finale of The Ultimate Fighter back in December 2011. 

UFC 177 is headlined by Dillashaw vs. Barao II and takes place this Saturday at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in California.  

Will Barao be able to prove the first fight was a fluke, or will Dillashaw cement himself as the best male fighter at 135 pounds with another convincing victory?


John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.