UFC 173: Dillashaw takes the Bantamweight belt from Barao

Dillashaw head kick vs. Barao UFC 173

Dillashaw, Cormier, Lawler dominated and finished their opponents respectively

Oh how much the boy has grown since The Ultimate Fighter 14. T.J. Dillashaw (10-2) came to into the title bout against one of the best pound-for-pound fighter with great fitness and confidence. Like Joe Rogan said, this is the best Dillashaw we’ve ever seen. Although it took him 4 and a half rounds to beat Renan Barao (32-2), he dominated the now-former Bantamweight champ in every round and finished with flying colours.

Dillashaw was actively moving and had great footwork throughout the entire fight and he managed to maintain the pace, whereas Barao, strangely, seemed absolutely unprepared, clueless and flat-footed. Dillashaw was winning significantly on standup and Barao was getting tagged and losing in almost every exchange until even his corner advised him to not strike with him. Dillashaw dropped him in the very first round but Barao survived the ground and pound and rear naked choke attempt.

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In the championship round, much to all of our surprise, it was Dillashaw who’s landing more kicks as well, something which Barao was more known for. Barao clearly needed to finish or else he was going to clearly lose by decision but Dillashaw’s head kick followed by a combination of accurate punches dropped him. Dillashaw got the TKO win with a ground and pound. The entire stadium was delighted for Dillashaw. Many came to congratulate and hug him. His coach was even in tears with him. Everyone loves this kid. A well deserved win for the new UFC Bantamweight champion.

The unbeaten Daniel Cormier (15-0) was a beast against Dan Henderson (30-12). Cormier looked like he’s too heavy and strong for his legendary opponent. He tripped and slammed Henderson down hard earlier in the bout and controlled top position for most of the first round. He took down Henderson again early in the second with a single leg and delivered ground and pounds while attempting submissions and disallowing him to get back to his feet. In the third round, another huge takedown by the big man, he literally took Henderson up and threw him down to the ground as though they’re in a fake wrestling show. He got full mount position temporarily before Henderson reduced it to a half guard but Cormier’s pounding forced him to turn and eventually giving away the back for the rear naked choke. Henderson went out instead of tapping and Cormier got the co-main event win.

Robbie Lawler (23-10) dominated and finished on the night as well. His opponent Jake Ellenberger (29-8) just stood around like a sandbag in the first round before finally showing a bit of urgency in the second round. He managed two takedowns but couldn’t do much with them. In the third round, he came alive swinging it hard and got Lawler in trouble but he burnt out and seemed to have injured his fist. Lawler noticed and capitalised by attacking hard with flying knees and hard punches. Ellenberger went down and turtled up for the referee to come save him.

I can’t recap every fight as I am flooded with work but I do like voice respect to Jamie Varner (21-10-1) who broke his ankle early in the first round of his bout against James Krause (21-5) and still tried to fight on. It seemed that it was Krause’s low kick that caused it. The bout ended at the break after round 1 when the corner agreed or advised him to quit the bout. Jamie Varner, hats off to you.

UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw – Full Results

(Source: Wikipedia)

Fight of the Night: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barão
Performance of the Night: T.J. Dillashaw and Mitch Clarke

Main Card

Bantamweight title: T.J. Dillashaw def. Renan Barão (c) | TKO (head kick & punches) | R5 2:26
Light heavyweight: Daniel Cormier def. Dan Henderson | Technical submission (RNC) | R3 3:53
Welterweight: Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger | TKO (knee & punches) | R3 3:06
Bantamweight: Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: James Krause def. Jamie Varner | TKO (foot injury) | R1 5:00

Preliminary Card

Lightweight: Michael Chiesa def. Francisco Trinaldo | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno | TKO (punch) | R1 4:06
Bantamweight: Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Lightweight: Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta | Technical submission (D’arce choke) | R2 0:57
Lightweight: Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Featherweight: Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Welterweight: Li Jingliang def. David Michaud | Decision (split) | 3 rounds

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