Close Article Return to stream X
MMA

Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao To Headline UFC 173 Against T.J. Dillashaw

Renan Barao at UFC 169

Joe Camporeale USA TODAY Sports

A bantamweight title clash between Renan Barao and T.J. Dillashaw is the new main event for UFC 173. The May 24 card in Las Vegas was in need of a headliner after a middleweight title affair between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida was postponed due to a Weidman knee injury. That bout has been rescheduled for UFC 175 in July.

Barao is currently riding an incredible 33-fight unbeaten streak and most recently registered a first-round stoppage of Urijah Faber at UFC 169. It was his second victory over “The California Kid” in his last four fights. Barao defeated Faber at UFC 149 to initially become interim champion and made successful defenses against Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland.

Barao was elevated to undisputed champion when Dominick Cruz was forced to surrender his share of the 135-pound title after another injury forced him out of their scheduled unification clash. He’s established himself as a dominant champion and currently is ranked no. 3 in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. “The Baron” has 22 knockout or submission wins in his 32 career victories and has finished his last three opponents.

It was widely anticipated that Barao’s next title defense would come against fellow Brazilian Raphael Assuncao, but the no. 3 ranked contender is dealing with lingering injury issues and won’t be ready to return until July or August.

As for Dillashaw, he’s come a long way since being stopped by John Dodson in The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 finale. He’s won five of his last six fights with that lone loss being a controversial split-decision loss in Brazil against Assuncao. The no. 5 ranked contender seems to be getting better with each passing fight, but this represents by far his highest-profile test. He had previously been set to face Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173 but now lands the opportunity of a lifetime.

The Team Alpha Male member gets a chance to get revenge against Barao, for his teammate Faber, but will need to produce the finest performance of his career. “The Viper’s” most recent effort was an impressive unanimous decision victory over Mike Easton at Fight Night 35.

This matchup may lack the big-name recognition of what Weidman vs. Machida would have brought to the table, but there’s no denying that Barao vs. Dillashaw is a clash capable of producing plenty of excitement.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

 

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
MMA Videos

Dana White Doesn’t Think Conor McGregor Can Beat Rafael dos Anjos

Things are getting interesting ahead of UFC 196. The headlining fight at that March 5 pay-per-view event will see UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor move up to lightweight to face the champion of that division Rafael dos Anjos. If McGregor succeeds he will become the first UFC fighter to hold belts in two different divisions simultaneously. The oddsmakers have McGregor as the favorite ahead of the fight. UFC president Dana White doesn’t necessarily hold the same opinion.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
MMA Videos

Ronda Rousey’s Mom Predicted Holly Holm Would Knock Her Out

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars is the first woman ever to win a gold medal at the World Judo Championship doing so in 1984. She is also the mother of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Further she may be the most vocal critic of Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan. Appearing on Submission Radio De Mars once again spoke out on Tarverdyan commenting on Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193. “I predicted it in advance Ronda trained with an idiot and a fraud” said De Mars.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
MMA Videos

Ronda Rousey’s Coach Breaks Silence on KO Loss to Holly Holm

We haven’t heard much from Ronda Rousey or her camp about the loss Rousey suffered to Holly Holm in November. Sure Rousey recently hosted Saturday Night Live and briefly addressed her UFC 193 knockout loss in her monologue but as far as detailed comments on the fight there has been mostly silence. That changed earlier this week when Rousey’s trainer Edmond Tarverdyan spoke to ESPN. Tarverdyan took a lot of heat in the days following the fight. Most of that heat was generated when his fighter bloodied and breathing from her mouth sat down on her stool at the end of Round 1.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
MMA Videos

Dana White Responds to Jose Aldo’s Demand for Conor McGregor Rematch

On Thursday UFC president Dana White appearing on the “Opie and Jim Norton” radio show said “It’s one of those things; we made the fight the first time and he got hurt and had to pull out. Then we made it again and it ended in 13 seconds. It’s tough to make that fight again right away. Plus Conor wants to be a two-belt champion so he wants to fight dos Anjos.” While White didn’t totally rule out an Aldo versus McGregor rematch his comments make the fight seem unlikely. McGregor’s next fight will take place on March 5 when he moves up to lightweight to try and capture Rafael dos Anjos’ title.

Comment 0 Comments