Top-10 bantamweight Mike Easton faces a very difficult assignment in looking to end a two-fight losing skid at UFC Fight Night 35 in Georgia. However, “The Hulk” is confident he can make his case as a future title challenger by knocking off T.J. Dillashaw.
The no.6 ranked Dillashaw is also coming into this contest looking to find his way back into the win column after dropping a very close split decision verdict to Raphael Assuncao his last time out. It was a hotly-contested affair where Dillashaw thought he deserved a better fate.
Easton is a fighter who has the mentality of standing and trading, and it’s served him well in putting together a career record of 13-3. His Octagon tenure began with three consecutive victories, but he’s lost to Assuncao and Brad Pickett in his last two outings. The split-decision loss to Pickett in Sweden didn’t drop his stock all that much as it was a highly entertaining affair that produced the Fight of the Night.
The no.7 ranked Easton possesses tremendous strength, athleticism and a sturdy chin. Despite his powerful frame, the majority of Easton’s victories have come by way of decision. That said, he does have four knockouts and two submission victories to his credit. Easton knows a third straight loss would leave him tumbling down the rankings, while a victory would have him knocking on top-five territory within the division and by poised for even bigger fights.
As for Dillashaw, he’s looking to begin another run after seeing his four-fight win streak snapped in Brazil against Assuncao in what was a Fight of the Night effort. Dillashaw has shown improved striking as the Team Alpha Male fighter has benefited from the knowledge of head coach Duane Ludwig. He possesses strong wrestling skills, but has been quite comfortable to stand and trade in recent outings.
If that trend continues, we could be in for an all-action war against Easton. “The Viper” has proven to be a strong finisher as six of Dillashaw’s eight career victories have come by either knockout or submission.
This has the makings to be an outstanding bantamweight clash. Both fighters are in bounce-back mode and will be looking to make a major statement by turning in impressive performances. Don’t be surprised if this matchup produces the Fight of the Night.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports