Learning English would most certainly help Barao capitalize on his recent winning streak and expand his fanbase in America. Conversely, if Dillashaw decided to hit the books for some last-minute pre-fight cramming, he could step into the Octagon with a secret weapon a la Nick Diaz. This of course means the crippling tool of in-fight trash talk. Dillashaw could hit Barao with a series common Brazilian street insults and folks could honestly say that Barao never saw it coming.
Based on the Brazilian’s career of 35 straight wins, his American counterpart is going to need every advantage he can acquire if he has any chance at all. Like Chael Sonnen does whenever he sees any other fighter anywhere, Dillashaw should dole out petty insults every chance he gets. He will need to remember to pronounce clearly, to be as brash as Michael Bisping in a pre-fight interview and try not to accidentally spit his mouthpiece out.
When Dillashaw defends a takedown, he can yell at the bantamweight champ, “Xexelento!” which means low quality, or mediocre. Once the initial shock hits Barao, the challenger can follow up with a flurry of high and low strikes to further confuse him. When they are up against the cage in the clench, T.J. can mutter, “Va Lamber sabao, Barao!” telling his opponent to literally go lick soap. As Barao’s jaw drops, Dillashaw can cram it back shut with a Jon Jones-style spinning elbow.
Say the Brazilian goes for a rear naked choke, if the American manages to slip out, he can say, “Mala sem alca” which is used against someone unbearably boring, but literally means suitcase without a handle. The underdog can then go for a takedown and try keeping the fight on the ground where he stands a bit of a chance.
In the off chance that Dillashaw actually wins, he can smugly grunt at the ex-champ, “Sacripanta”, which is a traditional word for someone despicable. If he wants to go overboard like Tito Ortiz, he can say to his vanquished opponent, “Maracuja de gaveta”, essentially telling Barao that he is old and over the hill.
Sure, these are fairly PG-rated insults but they are actually rather appropriate given Dillashaw’s clean-cut image and boy-next-door demeanor. Heck, he might even spark a cross-cultural movement inspiring fighters to learn about the cultures of their foreign opponents before facing them in the cage. Sure, that’s a bit of a long shot, but so are the odds in this fight. They will probably just learn the cuss words and insults but hey, at least it’s a start.