All I wanted was for T.J. Dillashaw to show how good he can be, and he put on an absolute clinic against Mike Easton at UFC Fight Night. It was by far the most impressive performance of his career and showed tiny bits of greatness.
On paper, this fight could have been a very boring fight. Easton and Dillashaw are both very talented wrestlers, and the contest could have turned into a lot of fence-holding and takedowns; instead, it was a fast-paced fight, particularly because of Dillashaw’s pressure.
If there is one main thing to take away from Dillashaw’s performance, it was the pressure he created. I do not think that there was one instance where he was not doing something offensively, whether he was moving forward, throwing combinations while moving backwards or making feints that had Easton throwing his hands as hard as he could.
Dillashaw was creating such pressure that he was able to create some very interesting angles with his strikes and also land some takedowns from unique places. The footwork was non-stop, the combinations were crisp, and Dillashaw seemed to know his distance from the get-go.
It is a performance like this that Dillashaw desperately needed. Many have pegged him to be a contender, but he never had the performance where he dominated a top-10 fighter — that is until now. Easton is no slouch and Dillashaw ran through him. Dillashaw constantly looked for the finish even though he was up on the scorecards, and never let off the pressure. If he can continue to improve, I believe that the UFC will have a contender on their hands by the end of the year.