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UFC 173: Renan Barao Vs. T.J. Dillashaw

ufc 173

Renan Barao vs. T.J. Dillashaw for the UFC bantamweight championship

It’s main event and championship match time, as Renan Barao puts his bantamweight gold on the line against T.J. Dillashaw.

Barao (32-1) hasn’t lost in his last 32 professional bouts, including his last seven inside the Octagon. He became the interim champion in 2012 with a victory over Urijah Faber and was proclaimed the undisputed champion when Dominick Cruz went down with another injury.

Dillashaw (9-2) will be trying to pull the upset and give Team Alpha Male a title in the UFC after failed attempts by Faber, Chad Mendes and Joseph Benavidez. He is coming off a decision victory over Mike Easton and is 5-2 with the promotion.

Round 1: Dillashaw gets off the first leg kick of the fight and misses on a huge uppercut. He’s trying to get inside and land, but Barao defends well. Head kick from Dillashaw misses, but he fires off another shot to the thigh. Switch-kick from Dillashaw, who is flashing everything. Uppercut connects from Dillashaw, but he doesn’t over-react and rush in. He avoids a kick and lands a straight left, followed by an uppercut. Great three minutes from Dillashaw, who blocks a spinning back kick. However, he eats a straight left on the exit. Quick right lands from Dillashaw after both miss wildly. Dillashaw showing his quickness, getting in with a combo. Out of nowhere, Dillashaw lands a right that sends Barao flying across the canvas. Dillashaw attacks and unloads, but Barao grabs a leg. Dillashaw postures back up and is landing lefts and rights in the middle of the cage. He takes his back with 20 seconds left, working for a rear-naked choke. He’s cranking hard with no hooks, but Barao turns and gets free.

FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Dillashaw

Round 2: Barao is very tentative, but he lands a shot that opens a big cut on the right side of Dillashaw’s face. Off a kick, Barao fires off a left again and he does it again. Straight left form Dillashaw and he bounces around to miss the attacks. Exchange of leg kicks and Dillashaw fires off a head kick that Barao catches. Another head kick followed by a right from the contender, who is hitting the champion with everything. Dillashaw shoots for a takedown and Barao does a great job of fending it off. Low blow from Barao halts the action. Dillashaw eats a stiff right off a missed head kick, but comes back with an overhand right and is switching his stances. He rocks Barao again, peppering him with the jab now. Barao with a nice comb, but Dillashaw answers with a kick to the body.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Dillashaw

Round 3: High kick from Dillashaw connects, but Barao is pushing forward more this round. Barao with a nice leg kick that almost sweeps him off his feet. Dillshaw with a combo that rocks Barao and he follows up with a head kick. Another right and Barao is hurt. He has him wounded and looking out of sorts. Barao seems frustrated and unsure of what to do. Another combo lands from Dillashaw, who is flashing incredible footwork and technique. Barao asks the ref to call time due to an eye poke, but it isn’t granted and Dillashaw attacked, rocking him with lefts and rights.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Dillashaw

Round 4: Dillashaw with a head-kick and a body shot, landing at over 50-percent of his strikes so far. He lands a right that hits flush to the face of Barao and a straight left that might have broke his nose. The corner for Barao is screaming for a takedown, but he hasn’t even tried for one, looking exhausted. Exchange of strikes and Barao gets the better of it. Two straight lefts land from Dillashaw, as Barao has no energy to defend the strikes. Side kick dodged from Dillashaw, who clinches against the fence with two minutes to go. Dillashaw gets him down and mounts, but this could be what Barao’s corner wanted. Elbows to the face by the challenger. Barao working for a leg, but Dillashaw notices and gets free.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Dillashaw

Round 5: Spinning back kick from Barao misses and Dillashaw goes on the attack, firing off kicks to the body. Despite being well ahead, Dillashaw is still doing the same things he did in the first, peppering him with jabs. Barao’s corner told him he needed a finish and he appears to be looking for it, but it;s Dillashaw who is looking for the finish. He hammers him with lefts and rights and this one is all over.

T.J. Dillashaw def. Renan Barao via TKO (strikes) at 2:26 of Round 5 to become the UFC bantamweight champion