The UFC dropped the ball on this one. In a surprise move to everyone, the UFC announced that TJ Dillashaw’s first defense of the Bantamweight Championship will be against none other than the man he took it from in Renan Barao. Before losing to Dillashaw, Barao was undefeated in 22 fights and looked practically unbeatable after destroying the likes of Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland. Barao met his maker in his fight against Dillashaw, getting beaten from pillar to post by a mobile and aggressive Dillashaw.
That is why I am so surprised that the UFC announced an immediate rematch. Barao was dominated in that fight. For four straight rounds, Dillashaw outworked, out-struck and out-maneuvered a very game Barao. It was inspiring to watch, that’s for sure, but Barao was not in the fight from the second round on. Why would the UFC schedule an immediate rematch of a fight that was so lopsided?
The UFC has a habit of paying back fighters who stepped up for them in the past, and that has to be what is happening here. Remember, Barao not only won the interim championship, but he successfully defended it twice before he was given the status of undisputed champion. I bet that during that time, he never complained and fought as much as the UFC wanted him to. He got on Dana White’s good side and is finally getting repaid for it.
Besides the fact that this makes no sense, what actually happens if Barao wins this fight? It would essentially create a logjam in the Bantamweight division because a third fight would have to happen. Barao doesn’t deserve this fight, and he should have sat on his favor a little bit longer rather than wasting it on taking a second shot at a guy who destroyed him.