The rematch we have all been waiting for is here: UFC‘s bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw, will face the opponent he swiped the title from, Renan Barao, at UFC® 186.
The biggest upset of 2014, and arguably one of the biggest upset in UFC®’s history, Dillashaw shocked the world when he knocked out the undefeated Barao at UFC® 173 with a powerful kick to the head and a series of punches.
After almost a year and a confidence boosting win via submission against fellow bantamweight contender, Mitch Gagnon, Barao will return to face Dillashaw in one of the most highly-anticipated rematches of all time.
As far as predictions go, it is difficult to say who will come out on top at the end of this unbelievable match-up. Although Barao was considered a well-established star when he faced the lesser-known Dillashaw at last May, the former college wrestler pulled off an indisputable win and has stood his ground as the champion since.
Here is a breakdown of what each fighter is bringing to the table:
Fighting Out of: Sacramento, California
UFC® Title Reign: May 2014-present
Walk-Out Song: “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
- His Speed
The energetic fighter has showed a level of speed rarely seen in the Octagon™. When you mix his ability to move quickly along with his decisiveness, he is a force to be reckoned with. Dillashaw clearly used this combination to win the title against Barao at UFC® 173 and his latest fight against Joe Soto at UFC® 177.
- His Fluidity
The bantamweight champion’s fluidity may truly be unmatched in the UFC®. During his fight with Barao, he appeared to dance around the Octagon™, each move equally graceful and purposeful.
- His Newfound Confidence
Understandably so, the win against the undefeated Barao gave Dillashaw the confidence needed to wear his title comfortably. No question Dillashaw will return to fight Barao with an attitude to match his incredible skillset.
Fighting Out Of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
UFC Title Reign: July 2012-May 2014
Walk-Out Song: “Sou Ciumento Mesmo” by Wesley Safadao
- His History
Barao was at one time considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in all of the UFC®. He was undefeated in the promotion until facing the fierce underdog Dillashaw. Known for his submissions and acrobatic TKOs, the Brazilian fighter is a fully capable champion.
- His Preparation
Nothing fuels a fighter’s fire quite like the loss of a title. We can only guess the loss to Dillashaw has made “The Baron” hungrier to win back the bantamweight championship belt which was once his.
- His Jiu-Jitsu
The Brazilian fighter is a Jiu-Jitsu artist, having taken out and submitted many of his opponents by gruesome rear-naked chokes and armbars.
Prediction: Dillashaw by TKO
Although we understand anyone could make a serious case for the talented Barao, the combination of speed and fluidity of Dillashaw and his power moves makes him our favorite to win the rematch.
Who do you think will have the belt at the end of the bout?
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Package holders will get access to a VIP Hospitality Party Room pre-fight where they will be treated to a complimentary gourmet buffet and well-stocked open bar. While lounging in the exclusive suite, they will get to meet-and-greet with MMA celebrities, current UFC® fighters and Octagon Girls™!
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