In the first fight of six televised prelims on UFC on Fox 7, T.J. Dillashaw takes on Hugo Viana in a bantamweight bout.
Dillashaw, who was the runner-up in Season 14 of the Ultimate Fighter, has won three consecutive fights and has brutally finished his last two opponents. Once thought to be just a wrestler who looks to grind out boring decision wins, Dillashaw has significantly improved his striking ability and has put on several recent dynamic performances. In his last fight at UFC 158, Dillashaw refrained from using his wrestling and defeated Issei Tamura with a barrage of heavy strikes.
Similar to Dillashaw, Viana is also a TUF veteran. Viana advanced to the semi-finals in the show’s inaugural season in Brazil. During the season, Viana’s skills impressed UFC matchmakers, who brought him back for the show’s finale where he did not disappoint, scoring a huge knockout victory over Reuben Duran.
The win over Duran was Viana’s seventh consecutive victory to begin his MMA career. Viana streak is certain to be threatened against the dangerous Dillashaw on Saturday night.
Dillashaw feels he is in the best shape of his career, and looks to continue his recent domination.
In a recent interview with thefightnetwork.com, Dillashaw addressed his expanded skill-set. “Obviously, I have a really strong wrestling background,” Dillashaw said. “If they don’t respect that, they are going to get beaten by it … I use my wrestling to strike, and strike to wrestle.”
Viana may not have the same wrestling credentials as Dillashaw, but he holds a clear advantage in striking as an accomplished striker who holds a black belt in Taekwondo, and would prefer that the fight remain standing. If Dillashaw goes for an immediate takedown, Viana can neutralize Dillashaw’s ground game by utilizing his extensive Brazillian Jiu Jitsu training.
With two impressive winning streaks on the line, this fight is worth tuning in early to watch the UFC on Fox 7 prelims on the FX Network.