UFC 177: Dillashaw Wins, Baroa Rematch Off For Now


USA Today

USA Today

SACRAMENTO, Calif – UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillishaw (12-2) was successful in his first title defense at UFC 177 Saturday night in Sacramento, California. The fight was too close for comfort for the hometown crowd at Sleep Train Arena but was enough to earn a stoppage on less than a day of notice against Joe “One Bad Mofo” Soto (15-3).

Soto was more than game in his UFC debut, which came as a surprise to the mixed martial arts world as he got the opportunity to compete due to Renan “The Baron” Barao’s removal from the fight after he fainted while cutting weight and was treated at the hospital.

The opening round of the fight went similar to what many expect from Dillashaw after he grabbed the title from Barao as he worked his angles and footwork and gave Soto defensive fits. After a brief stint on the mat in the first round, the two finished round to with a back-and-forth exchange to close out the round.

The remainder of the fight was a mix of exchanges that Dillashaw continued to come out the better of as the champion’s strategy of high-volume striking kept Soto at bay even though the champ was a little bloodied in the fight.

Dillashaw landed a right leg head kick that sent Soto to the ground and after a continuation shot the fight was stopped by referee John McCarthy. Dillashaw landed 156 strikes to Soto’s 62 plus has two takedowns to his credit while allowing the challenger none.

While the fighters move on, UFC President Dana White is already dealing with the issue at hand and that is an altered main event on a pay-per-view.

“Renan Barao is going to have to take another fight before fighting for the title. Or more,” said the UFC President, “I’m not saying one fight. I’m just saying he’s going to fight somebody else – he may have to fight more.”

“Maybe it’s time for him to go to [145],” said White, “and maybe if Aldo does want to compete against him maybe he goes to [155].”

Barao wasn’t the only fight to miss weight for the pay-per-view event as Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo (6-0) also missed weight and caused his fight to be eliminated from the card altogether.

“He can come back and try at a heavier weight or not try again,” said White, “He’s got a history of doing this, it’s not his first time, and if he stays at that weight, it won’t be his last.”

About Mark West

Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting.

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