TJ Dillashaw lost his belt to Dominick Cruz in his last at bat, and now he gets to face the man who was heralded by many as someone who should have challenged him for the belt: Raphael Assuncao, who already has a win over Dillashaw.

Since last they fought, Dillashaw perfected his always-moving, death-by-a-thousand-cuts style, and he brings it to bear on the Brazilian, attacking from all angles and stances and being nowhere close when Assuncao tries to connect. Assuncao does score – more than a couple times he wraps Dillashaw up and nails him with knees when Dillashaw disentangles himself. The horn sounds with the duo swinging and missing.

The former champ opens Round 2 with a close takedown attempt, then seamlessly switches to striking mode and catches Assuncao with a punch that turns the Brazilian’s nose into a faucet. Assuncao is still in the game, which he shows by taking the American down briefly. Dillashaw pays him back by dropping him with a punch and pounding on him a few times, and the round ends with Assuncao going for his leg.

A fruitless takedown attempt, high kicks hitting nothing but air, and big, winding punches that don’t land – Assuncao is likely behind on the cards and trying to end it in Round 3. But a takedown by Dillashaw probably gives him the round, and seals the deal for him on the fight.


Result: TJ Dillashaw def. Raphael Assuncao via Unanimous Decision