Like the UFC 173 Co-Main Event, the night’s main event was predicted to be a one-sided affair.
And it was.
Only this time, it was in favor of the wrong guy.
Indeed, TJ Dillashaw beat the odds tonight — entering the cage about a six to one underdog to pound-for-pound entrant and UFC Bantamweight champion Renan Barão. He would exit it the UFC Bantamweight champion in a performance commentator Joe Rogan called “the greatest performance I’ve seen in my life.”
Dillashaw moved around the Octagon beautifully, switching stances and incorporating fluid footwork while landing punching combinations seemingly at will. He scored a knockdown in the first round, nearly earning the finish with a choke before time expired. He kept the pace as the rounds wore on, utilizing more kicks — including a particularly hard head kick in round two.
After winning virtually every minute of every round, Dillashaw knocked Barão down again in the fifth. The representative of Sacramento, California’s Team Alpha Male stood over his downed opponent for more punches until referee Herb Dean stopped the contest.
The historic win was the first title for Team Alpha Male, who enjoyed their last bout with Duane Ludwig serving as coach. Ludwig has left California to begin his own facility in his home state in Colorado. Barão, of Nova União in Rio De Jainero, Brazil, falls to 35-2-1 while Dillashaw improves to 10-2.
At UFC 173, TJ Dillashaw defeated Renan Barão at 2:22 of round five to earn the UFC Bantamweight Championship.