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UFC 177: T.J. Dillashaw Vs. Joe Soto

ufc 177

T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Joe Soto for the UFC bantamweight championship

We’ve arrived at the new main event for the night, as former Bellator champion Joe Soto (15-2) will make his Octagon debut against T.J. Dillashaw (10-2) for the UFC bantamweight title.

Soto has won six in a row since a 2011 submission loss to Eddie Yagin. That includes four submission wins of his own during his run and another victory via TKO.

Dillashaw became the UFC champion this past May when he finished Renan Barao. He was scheduled to meet Barao, but the Brazilian was removed after a weight-cut issue.

Round 1: Very relaxed champion during weigh-ins, smiling during his intro. Soto moving away, looking to find his distance. Leg kick sweeps Soto off his feet. Soto catches a kick but eats several right hands. He’s got a leg, Dillashaw transitions to the back and has a modified body triangle secured. Just over three minutes left in the round and a “T.J.” chant breaks out. Soto gets out, but eats a knee and a right. That exchange appears to have calmed his nerves. Soto fires off a huge right that just misses. They exchange and Dillashaw gets the better of it with a right. Dillashaw blocks a kick and lands two rights. Soto with a nice leg kick and lands a combo to end the round, smiling at Dillashaw. They slap hands at the end of the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Dillashaw

Round 2: Soto coming out after Dillashaw and he lands a pair of heavy right hands, and a third, and a fourth. He motions for Dillashaw to bring it, and the champion lands a knee. Dillashaw putting his hand up to block the right now, but it is the challenger stalking him. Combo from Dillashaw, as he fires off an uppercut that lands. Soto gets in with a left and he pushes forward, only to eat a knee. Flurry of strikes land by Dillashaw. Left from Soto connects. He comes in again, Dillashaw fires off a combo, but Soto blocks them. Soto has been blocking a lot of strikes, but the uppercut continues to get through.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Soto

Round 3: Dillashaw with a combo that backs Soto up against the fence, and the champion is coming out the aggressor. Both fighters appear to have some facial wounds and swelling, but Dillashaw is dominating this round with shots to the body and face. He appears to be getting in a groove, fighting off a takedown attempt by Soto. Dillashaw has triple the amount of head shots landed halfway through this round and they exchange, standing and banging in the center of the Octagon. Dillashaw with a takedown, transitioning to the back, but Soto gets out.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Dillashaw

Round 4: They touch gloves this time to start the championship rounds. Dillashaw just misses with a high kick. Still plenty of punches in bunches for Dillashaw, who just has an incredible gas tank. Soto trying to back him into a corner, but the champion comes out firing. After a pair of shots from Soto, Dillashaw scores with his second takedown of the fight.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Dillashaw

Round 5: Soto shoots for a takedown, but is denied for a fourth time. Dillashaw has never been taken down in his UFC career. He’s come out swinging too, just like he did in the fifth against Barao and well up on the scorecards. Good body shot lands and a kick. Just like that, Dillashaw connects and he drops Soto. This one is all over, just like his championship-win over Barao.

T.J. Dillashaw def. Joe Soto via KO (head-kick/right-hand) at 2:20 of Round 5 to retain the UFC bantamweight championship