Dillashaw destroys Barao again
We had seen this before. It just ended a little earlier this time. T.J. Dillashaw successfully defended his bantamweight championship by dominating Renan Barao in Saturday’s main event at UFC on FOX 16 at the United Center in Chicago.
Dillashaw hooked up his betting supporters as a -240 favorite, finishing the Brazilian with a brilliant flurry that prompted referee Herb Dean to stop the fight 35 seconds into the fourth round. The ‘under’ (4.5 rounds, +150) was a winner.
Barao was game and looked good at times, but Dillashaw is just better than the former Brazilian champ. The Team Alpha Male member is better than every other 135-pounder in the world, a fact only Dominick Cruz can object to.
Dillashaw’s superior cardio became evident in Round 3 when Barao slowed considerably and the champ simply turned his aggression up a few notches. Dillashaw had Barao hurt badly late in the round and only the bell saved him.
Look for Dillashaw to make his next title defense against Cruz if the former champ can get healthy enough to sign up in the next few months. As for Barao, he’s not going to get a title shot at 135 for a long time so he’ll most likely move up to the featherweight loop.
In the co-main event, Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate prevailed over Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye by unanimous decision (29-28 three times) as a -200 ‘chalk.’ The ‘over’ hit at an expensive -240 price.
Eye looked great in the first four minutes, beating Tate in most of the stand-up exchanges. But the entire tone of the bout shifted when Tate floored Eye with a brutal right. Eye recovered quickly, however, and the opening stanza went to her on all three judges’ scorecards.
It was utter domination from Tate the rest of the way. She spent her camp working on her strength and athleticism and the improvement was on full display. Dana White confirmed that Tate’s four-fight winning streak would earn her a third shot at women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey if Rousey beats Bethe Correia this weekend.
The Fight of the Night went to Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder in an entertaining lightweight slugfest. Felder came out strong and bloodied Barboza’s left eye in the first round. BE Sports had Round 1 for Felder, while the second and third stanzas were very close.
Barboza’s volume of strikes and sick leg kicks impressed two of the judges enough to earn the split-decision victory (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) as a -140 favorite.
Joe Lauzon got back in the win column with a first-round KO win over Takonori ‘The Fireball Kid’ Gomi. Gamblers backing Lauzon had to risk a -300 price, while ‘under’ supporters collected a +105 return.
The two veteran lightweights traded shots on the feet for the first 90 seconds before Lauzon went for the takedown. Gomi eventually got tripped to the canvas and Lauzon jumped on him and took back control. It was all ground and pound from there until Lauzon quit punching and walked away. <BR><BR>
Dean had not stopped the fight yet and didn’t for several seconds until it was clear Gomi couldn’t continue. Lauzon showed a lot of class by not delivering any unnecessary punishment.
The finish was the 11th of Lauzon’s career, tying him for fifth all-time in UFC history. Gomi might have made his last Octagon appearance after falling to 4-6 in the UFC.
Tom Lawlor returned from an absence lasting two-plus years to KO Gian Villante. Lawlor’s second-round KO triumph as a +175 underdog allowed him to join Dillashaw in taking home 50 large for Performance of the Night.
Jim Miller captured a unanimous-decision victory over Danny Castillo as a -130 ‘chalk.’ The New Jersey product improved to 14-5 in the UFC, while Castillo lost for the fourth time in his last five fights.
Bryan Caraway improved to 5-2 in the UFC with a UD-win (30-27, 29-28 twice) over Eddie Wineland as a +110 underdog. Wineland has lost back-to-back fights and three of his last four.