Writing this the day after the fight: Sunday 25th of May. My fan heart is still pretty much in shock and quite devastated. This wasnt my first PPV to watch at all but some how seeing Barao lose like that got me BIG TIME, here why:
Renan Barao, one of the greatest brasilian MMA fighters out there, was coming to this fight with an impressive 34-1 -1 record. 7 wins with the UFC and 2 with WEC. Only 1 loss in his entire pro career and it was in fact in his debut. Those are some amazing stats that you will hardly see in any other fighter in the UFC, Jose Aldo included.
Along with these, there is something about brasilians that simply amazes me. They have an incredible amount of heart and passion to became the best, that they will simply not stop till they actually are. Thats the story of Barao.
Born in Natal, Brasil, this kis had everything to be nothing but poor and homeless. He was raised by his grandparents as both of his parents separated and started new lives of their own. He lived in a favela, that if someone doesnt know, is the poorest part of Brasil. The amount of deliquency, poorness, prostitution and drug traffic is something of its own. Thats why sports in Brasil are so important, it gives people a reason to move foward and being the best. That mind set is what tells them apart.
As Barao has told many times in personal interviews, he had absolutely nothing but found through sport and commitment, a goal he would hold onto. Thats how, Dede Pederneiras of team Nova Uniao took him under his wing and gave him a place to stay and train. The rest is history.
Some of his previous fights that proved the facts:
UFC on Fuel TV 7: Michael Mcdonald
UFC 169: Urijah Faber 2
With all of this in mind, as the Weidman- Machida fight was pulled off, the Barao-Dillashaw was some of a disappointing card. Barao as a champion is not very popular in the US and Dillashaw, ranked #5 at the moment, was even less popular. Adding to that, the fact that everybody - and me- expected Barao to murdered Dillashaw. This card got his hype mainly thanks to the other fights: Lawler/Ellenberger, Cormier/Hendo.
Onto the fight itself.
R1. First thing i noticed was that Dillashaw was moving a lot and circuling around as Barao only walked towards him and was kind of testing him. I didnt worry much about it , but when Dillashaw started to move foward and landing some shots, my heart starting racing a little faster.
Barao didnt seemed to be the agressor as he normaly is and i guess Dillashaw noticed the same thing as the moment that determined the fight arrived:
I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK. That was SO DAMN CLOSE of being a clean KO. I dont know how Barao was able to move after that punch and let alone able to make it to the 2nd round.
He hanged in there as the round was over but he NEVER came back from it. He was simply lost and weak through the other rounds. He knew he needed the finish but was simply unable to do it.
R. 2, 3, 4. Painful to watch, Dillashaw was doing whatever he wanted. Barao was simply on another planet, he wasnt making any eye contact, not even with his coaches. He said almost no word through the rounds as he looked pretty much beaten.
R5. As my hopes were coming to an end, this round just simply DESTROYED them.
Not much to say other than:
ITS ALL OVER. WINNER TJ DILLASHAW VIA TKO 2:26 FIFTH ROUND.
And I lost it.
Seeing the champ go out like that killed me. He was handled the entire fight and received so much damage.
Congrats to TJ for pulling out a HUGE upset that many compared it to the Serra/GSP one and that was a BIG one. This win, as many know, is a win for Team Alpha Male as well. They had gone through a so called cursed that wasnt allowing them to bring a tittle home: Urijah lost 2 times to Barao, Joseph Benavidez lost 2 times to Demetrius Johnson and Chad Mendes lost to Aldo. It was also TAM head coach last time working with the team. The glory that was going on for them must have been simply amazing.. TJ is also getting married soon after this fight. He truly took it all.
So... What now?
A rematch is definetely right there. Dana White was clear to admit that Barao is possibly one of the best of all time, so giving him a rematch is not something to give a lot of thinking. The question is about being an inmediate one or waiting a bit.
Personally, i would like them to wait 1 fight before the rematch. I would like to see Barao vs Raphael Assuncao first and then Barao for the rematch (and also considering Dillashaw and Assuncao already fought, having Assuncao as the winner via decision).
Saying that, I want the rematch to happen this year so if giving Barao the Assuncao fight holds the rematch until 2015, then im all in for inmediate rematch!! It would sell amazingly given the weightclass.
Other thing to consider, is the return of former champion Dominick Cruz who had to give the tittle after a big injury. Cruz hasnt fought in the UFC in over 3 years as he is constantly getting more injured. He was set to fight Barao back at UFC 169 but he pulled out due to ... injury!
As many saw, Dillashaws foot work and cardio looked impressive and that being Cruz main things, it should be interesting to see a fight between them 2 or even better, Cruz vs Barao. Sad news as that probably wont happen any time soon as Cruz has not booked a return and if so, he would face Urijah first as they are long time enemies and are 1-1 (Urijah at WEC,2009 and Cruz at UFC 132, 2011)
As far as the Brasil/USA dispute, Brasil is down to 1 tittle holder! just 1: Jose Aldo (featherweight). Before UFC 162 (July 7 2013), Brasil had 3 tittle holders: Silva, Aldo, Barao.
As far as the TAM/Nova Uniao dispute, this gets even better!! Jose aldo vs Chad Mendes II is already scheduled for UFC 176 Saturday, August 2, 2014 in LA, USA.
The first fight took place back in January 14th, 2012 at UFC RIO.
In front of a full brasilean crowd, Aldo KO'd Mendes with a knee in the very first round.