UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has reason to doubt Renan Barao‘s claim that he wasn’t fully present for most of the UFC 173 headliner that forced him to hand over the belt.

“He had to come up with some sort of a reason why he got beat up so bad,” Dillashaw said backstage at this past Saturday’s UFC on FOX 12.

Barao (32-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) said he “woke up” in the locker room after the fight, which ended in the fifth and final round with a flurry of punches and kicks from Dillashaw (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who pulled off one of the upsets of the year at the pay-per-view event in May.

The title fight shifted violently in the first round when the Team Alpha Male fighter landed a right hand put Barao on the canvas. After that, now-ex champ Barao said, he wasn’t the same person.

“I feel like that’s not accurate (that he woke up in the locker room), because he came out and the second round was his best round,” Dillashaw, 28, countered. “I feel like after the second round is when I actually broke him, because his best round was actually the round after he got knocked down.

“I’m not saying he didn’t go on autopilot, but for not losing that long, you’ve got to have some kind of excuse.”

Prior to meeting Dillashaw, Barao, 27, hadn’t met defeat in nine years and 32 fights in his native Brazil, the now-defunct WEC and the UFC, where he first won the interim bantamweight title in 2012 before being promoted to undisputed champ in the wake of ex-titleholder Dominick Cruz’s extended injury layoff.

In his previous performance, Barao easily dispatched Dillashaw’s longtime training partner, Urijah Faber, to notch his third title defense as a UFC champion.

After accepting the title shot in lieu of an injury to bantamweight Raphael Assuncao, Dillashaw was as high as a 7-to-1 underdog heading into UFC 173. In his previous fight, he had beaten the tough, but relatively unheralded Mike Easton.

An immediate rematch is an option not often utilized by the UFC, but in this case, the promotion elected to put the pair together to headline next month’s UFC 177, which puts Dillashaw on home turf in Sacramento, Calif., where Team Alpha Male is based.

Dillashaw brushed aside the question of whether Barao was getting a rematch too soon, though initially, he said the promotion would be rushing the matter to immediately rebook the fight, which headlines the pay-per-view event on Aug. 30 at Sleep Train Arena.

“I’m pumped,” he said. “I get to fight in front of my hometown. The UFC was scheduled to come to Sacramento that day, and they’re going to put the champ in (Sacramento) on the card. I’m excited about it.

“I don’t want to be the guy that’s going to call (out) when I fight. I just want to be the company man and fight who they put in front of me and keep winning.”

Barao has said his loss to Dillashaw was the result of a shortened training champ and has vowed to avenge his loss. Although Dillashaw already has a win over the Brazilian, he said he isn’t walking into the rematch with any added confidence.

The first fight was a major upset on paper, but to Dillashaw, it wasn’t something unexpected.

“Just as much (confidence) as before,” he said. “I can’t get overly confident. I’ve got to respect him just like I did in the first fight. He is very dangerous, and I just want to make sure I go in there with the same respect for him and belief in myself.”

For more on UFC 177, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Another Ronda Rousey Sighting in the Latest UFC 207 Embedded! | MMAWeekly.com

  • 21 days ago
  • 40 views

Ronda Rousey was a little surprised when she walked into a room full of reporters at the UFC 207 early morning official weigh-in. read news >>

Ahead of UFC 207, champ Dominick Cruz tells story of how a canceled card changed his career

  • 29 days ago
  • 56 views

After a triumphant comeback earlier this year, UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz has already secured his spot among MMA’s all-time greats. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Jose Aldo and Max Holloway Butt Heads Over Nixing of UFC 208 Bout | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 108 views

Jose Aldo and Max Holloway are butting heads over why they won't be unifying their featherweight titles at UFC 208 in Brooklyn. read news >>

UFC 206 Airs for Free on Big FOX on Christmas Eve | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 40 views

In a surprise move, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is spreading some holiday cheer to its fans, airing several UFC 206 bouts for free on FOX. read news >>

Joe Rogan Lists Cain Velasquez' Top 8 Moments (UFC 207 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 50 views

Joe Rogan counts down the Ultimate 8 performances from former heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez before he battles Fabricio Verdum a second time at UFC 207. read news >>

UFC Flyweight Champ Demetrious Johnson Sidelined for Several Months | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 53 views

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson won't require surgery for a recent knee injury, but he will be out of action for the next several months. read news >>

Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk explains why she won't predict UFC 207's Nunes-Rousey headliner

  • 29 days ago
  • 32 views

UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is in a curious position as the UFC 207 main event between women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and former titleholder Ronda Rousey rapidly approache read news >>

Mutual admiration could push Ronda Rousey from UFC to WWE

  • 29 days ago
  • 26 views

Even before Ronda Rousey fights for the chance to regain her UFC bantamweight title on Dec. 30, her future inside the octagon is the subject of much discussion.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 207 Primer: T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker Head-to-Toe Breakdown

  • 29 days ago
  • 12 views

The UFC's end-of-the-year, big-card tradition continues in 2016, with UFC 207. The event features the return of Ronda Rousey, a pair of title fights and an impressive roster of matchups, from main ca read news >>

Relive UFC 206's best fights and finishes with Saturday 2-hour special on FOX

  • 29 days ago
  • 25 views

Just two weeks removed from the show in Toronto, on Saturday, the UFC and FOX will look back at UFC 206 and its interim featherweight title fight headliner, a brilliant head-kick knockout after a bac read news >>