UFC Bantamweight Champ Dillashaw Visits Raiders


TJ DillashawOAKLAND, Calif. – UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw (11-2) took time out of preparing for his first title defense in UFC 177 this Saturday to visit the NFL’s Oakland Raiders training camp. Dillashaw’s first defense will be a rematch against the man he defeated just a few months ago, former champion and No. 1 contender Renan “The Baron” Barao (34-2, 1 NC).

“It’s going to be wild. It’s going to be really loud, really fun,” said Dillashaw, “and I think I’ll feed off the crowd. I think I do better under the spotlight, when I have all the attention of the people. It’s going to be really nice having them all cheering for me.”

However, Dillashaw was pretty excited to get to meet his favorite team, “I’ve been a Raiders fan my whole life. It was cool to come meet some of the guys, take some photos, and take in practice a bit…it’s pretty cool for me to show up and the players were excited to see the belt.”

“No fights go as perfectly as you game plan, but this one did,” said the Raiders fan and champ, “The fight was like in slow motion and everything was just so smooth. You see those epic fights on TV and you always talk about them. It’s cool to be in one of those fights. Even when I go back and still watch it today, I’m even impressed myself.”

Dillashaw credits his coach, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, as being essential to where he is as a fighter today.

“It’s just the attention to detail. He’s a big technician and he studies a lot of tape,” said the champ, “He’s gotten me to start fighting out of both stances, cutting off certain angles and setting up a lot of my takedowns and kicks a lot better.”

Dillashaw realizes the rematch isn’t going to be a cakewalk.

“It’s going to be a tough fight, and I expect him to bring everything to the table,” said the Californian, “He’s a scary fighter and he can finish the fight at any time, but I’m ready for that. I’m ready for what he’s got.”

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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