VANCOUVER, B.C. -- T.J. Dillashaw's first title defense as bantamweight champion might just be an immediate rematch.
UFC president Dana White told reporters following a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon Friday afternoon that Dillashaw will "probably" fight former champion Renan Barao next, however, he didn't know where and when it would take place.
"There's a list of guys [to fight Dillashaw next], which is a great thing," he said. "How do you not give [the title shot to] Barao? The guy was undefeated all those years. I agree, he got a five-round ass whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not give him a rematch? And who doesn't want to see it? I want to see it."
It's safe to say Raphael Assuncao doesn't want to see it. The Brazilian defeated Dillashaw via controversial split decision in October and immediately campaigned for the rematch after Dillashaw's improbable win last month over Barao at UFC 173 to become the new bantamweight champion. Dillashaw also said he would be interested in avenging his loss to Assuncao.
"He's on the longest win streak, he should be the next one in line, probably. And I'd like to get that fight back," Dillashaw said of Assuncao on The MMA Hour last month.
"People are saying, what about a rematch with Barao? The one problem I do have with that is that I dominated him, you know what I mean? It wasn't like I knocked him out in the first round with that right hand and it was a fluke. I went out there and I proved that what I know how to do against him is going to work, and I'm just too fast for him, man. He's just too slow."
Needless to say, it's good to be Dillashaw these days. He's getting married next week and was recently awarded a new contract by the UFC brass. He won the 135-pound belt on his old "The Ultimate Fighter" contract.
"What we did was, we brought him into the office and ripped his contract up into tiny little pieces and made him a new one," White said.
White's revelation on Friday led to immediate scrutiny online, however, Dillashaw's manager Mike Roberts said the rematch isn't signed just yet.
"T.J. is the champ," he said. "We fight who they say. He hasn't earned the right yet to pick and choose."
White seemed excited about his options at bantamweight these days, also discussing a potential Barao vs. Dominick Cruz fight. But one could argue that the biggest fight he could make would be Dillashaw vs. his teammate and mentor Urijah Faber. And while both fighters have flirted with the idea, White emphatically said they would have no problem fighting each other.
"They'll fight each other tomorrow," he said. "Trust me, that fight is absolutely one of the other ones that could happen, too."
First things first, though, Dillashaw might have to go through a familiar foe.