It’s only fitting that the UFC’s greatest underdog, (now champ TJ Dillashaw) would make his very first title defense (successfully) at one of the greatest underdog cards of the year, UFC® 177.
Okay, we all had a moment where we panicked and that moment was Friday. Renan Barao’s grueling weight cut forced him out of the fight. Henry Cejudo’s weight was an issue as well. What was in the water in Sacramento??
Then miracles on miracles. A prelim card fighter debuting at UFC® 177 was given a shot. Let’s be clear, he may be a UFC® rookie, but UFC matchmakers knew what they were doing. Joe Soto, former Bellator featherweight champ, was primed for action and was given an amazing opportunity to be the very first fighter to test the champ—and it was epic.
As usual, when people count someone (or something) down and out, they have the unique ability to prove them wrong. So it’s Tuesday, the dust has cleared from a long Labor Day Weekend, and aside from the fact that Dillashaw is still champ, what else did we learn? Read on for more!
1. Correia is For Real
Bethe Correia knows how to make a statement, from the one she made with her outfit choice at the official weigh-ins to the statement she made in the Octagon™, this woman is the real deal.
The quick version of what happened on Saturday was that Correia needed two rounds to put (member of the four horsewomen) Shayna Baszler away. Baszler was able to control part of round one, but Correia had enough in round two and ended the match via TKO.
She made it clear that her sights were set on women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey. Picking off her friends seems to be a good way to get a shot.
Do you think Correia is ready for a shot? Does she need to prove herself against one or two other opponents?
2. Say Hello to Chris Wade
With a preliminary card boasting only three fights; the spotlight was on these young fighters, namely Chris Wade and Cain Carrizosa, both looking for an impressive UFC® debut.
For Wade, it couldn’t have gone better if he dreamt it up. It took just 1:30 seconds of the first round for him to put Carrizosa to bed. With masterful grappling, Wade was able to lock in a deep guillotine to choke Carrizosa into an early night at UFC® 177.
In a sport where being remembered is half the battle, Wade ensured that MMA fans will remember his name.
3. Joe Soto is a MAN
We're not talking in just the anatomical sense.
Whether or not you are a Joe Soto fan or even know his name or are a TJ Dillashaw fan, hats off to Joe Soto.
To step up on your UFC® debut and accept a fight against a newly crowned champion who so dominantly dispatched the former and long standing champion (Barao) on 24 hours notice would be sure to wet some other folks’ pants.
Soto took it in stride, accepting, and giving it everything he had. Although he trained for a three round prelim matchup, the fight was nothing short of entertaining, with the champion landing more strikes, but looking more worse for the wear than challenger Soto.
We’re not alone in saying we would LOVE to see Soto training for this specific fight and then step in the ring with the title on the line.
What’d you think of the last minute challenger? Did he impress you? Did Dillashaw prove that he’s a champ that’s here to stay? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
4. Yancy Medeiros Knows How to Win
Medeiros and Damon Jackson were both looking to prove something. Medeiros needed a win after going 0-2 (1) in his last three fights, while Jackson hoped to leave an impression in his debut.
For Medeiros, he got a memorable and violent victory via submission. Employing what’s officially being called a reverse guillotine choke (reverse bulldog choke) he was able to make Jackson tap and earn himself a win.
Results and Bonuses
T.J. Dillashaw (c) def. Joe Soto via KO/TKO at 2:40 of R5
Tony Ferguson def. Danny Castillo via split decision
Bethe Correia def. Shayna Baszler via KO/TKO at 3:04 of R2
Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Ramsey Nijem via KO/TKO at 3:07 of R2
Yancy Medeiros def. Damon Jackson via Submission (reverse guillotine choke) at 3:06 of R2
Derek Brunson def. Lorenz Larkin via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Anthony Hamilton def. Ruan Potts via TKO (strikes) at 4:17 of R2
Chris Wade def. Cain Carrizosa via submission (arm-in guillotine) at 1:12 of R1
Performance of the Night: Dillashaw and Medeiros
Fight of the Night: Ramsey Nijem and Diego Ferreira
See You at UFC® 178
UFC® 177 was proof of one thing: good fighters = good fights. Regardless of whether or not who was originally scheduled to compete did or not, fans got a great fight card.
UFC® 178 promises no less. With a card that includes Cowboy Cerrone, the return of Dominick Cruz, a title shot on the line and more… ALL in Las Vegas, it’s a night UFC® fans just can’t miss.
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See which package will best fit your needs and find out how you can be a #UFCVIP today. Visit our website or call to speak with one of our knowledgeable UFC VIP Experience representatives today: 855.827.5531.