UFC 177 Play: TJ Dillashaw (-155) vs Renan Barao (+135)

Renan Barao 2UFC 177 Date: August 30, 2014 Arena: Sleep Train Arena City: Sacramento, CA Bantamweight title bout: TJ Dillashaw (-155) vs Renan Barao (+135) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC 177 in Sacramento will be a rematch for the UFC Bantamweight title between title-holder and Sacramento’s own TJ Dillashaw and former title-holder and challenger Renan Barao. Barao was a huge betting favorite over Dillashaw the first time around, but it is Dillashaw who is the favorite at the sportsbooks this time with the current betting line of -155 ($155 to win $155) and the Brazilian is a betting underdog of +135 ($100 to win $135) at Several Bookmakerss. TJ Dillashaw (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) had the performance of his career at UFC 173 just three months ago, dominating Renan Barao on the feet for over four rounds of action, ultimately earning a TKO finish in the fifth to become the new UFC Bantamweight Champion. Barao wanted an immediate rematch, and the UFC was happy to oblige; as was Dillashaw, especially considering the fact that the fight will be in front of his hometown crowd in Sacramento. The Team Alpha Male product is an excellent striker with nice hands and solid kicks; not to mention he is incredibly quick on the feet with all limbs. He has great footwork and head-movement, does a very good job of moving around the Octagon and pushing the pace, as well as counter-striking. His timing is excellent, so his counters are often precise. His striking has been constantly improving ever since Duane Ludwig became his head striking coach. Dillashaw works a solid jab, has a great uppercut and does a good job of finding a home for his straight-right. The Ultimate Fighter season 14 finalist is a well-rounded fighter who excels at everything. He is not just good in every area; he is great in every area. He is well-versed both on the feet and on the mat, as he is an excellent wrestler and has a solid submission game, both offensively and defensively. Dillashaw is very dangerous with his chokes, especially his guillotine. The Team Alpha Male product is an athlete with tremendous conditioning who will be prepared to go five hard rounds against the champion should the fight go the distance. Renan Barao (32-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) had his incredibly impressive 32-fight winning streak snapped by Dillashaw three months ago at UFC 173, losing his Bantamweight title in the process. He had not lost a fight since his very first fight nine years ago, which he lost by decision. Not only is he coming off his first loss in nine years, but he is coming off his first T/KO loss, ever; the Dillashaw loss marked the first time the Brazilian has been stopped in his professional mixed martial arts career. He says the loss was a fluke and is eager to get back in the cage to prove it; so much so that he is happy to do it with a hometown disadvantage. Training out of the Nova Uniao camp in Brazil, Barao has some of the best coaches and training partners in the sport. Some of his training partners include UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, Bellator bantamweight champ Eduardo Dantas, plus veterans Marlon Sandro, Wagney Fabiano, Marcos Galvao, and Hacran Dias. The Nova Uniao product is a very talented striker who has great movement and likes to fight in a technical style that does not only score points but also inflicts significant damage to his opponents. Barao is by no means a point fighter; he is always looking for openings for a finish and opportunities to pounce. He can take an opponent’s back in a heartbeat if he sees a split-second of an opening. His submission game is excellent, as he owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He’s very good at locking up chokes and sometimes does so before his opponents realize what is happening. To compliment his offensive submission game, he also has solid submission defense, still having never been submitted in his professional mixed martial arts career. The 27-year olds striking defense is excellent, too, as he is generally not an easy target to hit. If a fight with him goes to the mat, it is likely because he wants it there. Barao has tremendous takedown defense, having defended 100% of takedown attempts in his UFC career. As for his cardio, I expect the Brazilian to have it in check for a 25-minute war, should the fight go the distance. Gabe’s Thoughts: Both of these guys really want to finish; I think one of them will. I don’t see this one playing out as long as the first. I could see a finish coming early this time around. Gabe’s Call: Dillashaw by Technical Submission (guillotine choke, 2:10 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Under 4.5 rounds (+100) 2.5u to win 2.5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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