Renen Barao to Defend Bantamweight Title Against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173

March 28, 2014
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Renan-Barao-UFC-138_011-478x270Renan Barao will defend his UFC bantamweight title against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173, according to multiple reports on Thursday evening.

The Barao-Dillashaw title fight will headline the May 24 card, which is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Barao (33-1, 1 NC) comes into the fight having not lost a professional fight since his debut in 2005. The Brazilian fighter earned the interim bantamweight belt with a win over Urijah Faber at UFC 149, while then-champion Dominick Cruz recovered from injury.

Cruz has continued to struggle with more injuries and has not been able to fight since October 2011. As a result of his extended absence from the Octagon, Barao was awarded with the undisputed title leading into this last fight, a second win over Faber at UFC 169 last February.

Dillashaw (9-2) was scheduled to meet Takeya Mizugaki on the UFC 173 card, but was shifted into the main event spot in the organization’s scramble to find a featured bout. It is unknown at this time if Mizugaki will remain on the card.

The May pay-per-view was originally supposed to be headlined by a middleweight title fight between 185-pound champ Chris Weidman and challenger Lyoto Machida, but Weidman sustained a knee injury and the fight was pushed back to July 5.

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  • InTheColosseumTonight

    Barao is a star inside the cage. He fights like the old school ufc and smothers opponents. His cage performances would have been enough in the old days, but he will always have difficulty selling ppvs. I hope this fight gives both fighters a chance to showcase thier talent, but I have to admit if Dillashaw was fighting Faber I would think Faber would win and we just saw what Barao did to him. Its not a stacked division, but there are some up and comers of whom Dillashaw is one.

    • Shred Man

      You mean what Herb Dean did to him? Barao didn’t do anything to Uriah in their last fight except hit him with little hammer fists while Uriah gave Herb a thumbs up and he still stopped it anyway. We don’t really know what would have happened had Herb let the fight go like he should have.

      • InTheColosseumTonight

        Faber is one of my absolute favorite fighters, I have watched him fight since he has been on TV and enjoyed the ups and downs of his career. Lets not be delusional though, he was being overwehled in that fight, he got knocked down, and he was taking some decent shots. I agree that Herb stopped the bout early(he probably loves Uriah too). But Barao would have finished him in the next few seconds. Lets be real man.

        • MaritalArtist

          I would have agreed with you, were it not for his last couple performances. Uriah’s been absolutely on fire, just dominating.

      • MaritalArtist

        He rocked Uriah pretty good, but I agree I would have loved to see how that would have panned out. I think Faber had a chance, even after that knockdown

  • Robby Clark

    Awesome! Tough fight but I’m a big TJ fan, maybe he can find a way;)

  • Dbrel

    Wait a minute– what about Raphael Assuncao who is ranked higher? Not cool to jump someone with far less experience over him.

    • Timothy Malone

      From UFC 170 medical suspensions:

      “Raphael Assuncao was suspended until Aug. 22 unless he has his left ribs
      x-rayed and gets cleared by a doctor; he faces a minimum suspension
      until March 25 with no contact prior to March 16.”

      He might have not been ready in two months, while Dillashaw was already preparing to fight.

      • shakejunt

        good call. would’ve been quite the snub if not for the suspension. maybe someone like alcantara could fill in? against mizugaki, that is.

  • Timothy Malone

    Correct me if I’m wrong but while plenty of Ultimate Fighter winners have become champions, an Ultimate Fighter loser never has. I doubt it will happen here either.

    • MillerTime037 .

      only 3 ultimate fighter winners have became champs, forrest girffin, rashad evans, and matt sera, how is that plenty??

      • uncle

        And it seem like they all were playing
        hot potato with their belts, because they
        couldn’t even defend their belts, they are
        great fighters but they sucked as champs

    • Seth

      Sinclaid and Southworth became champions too, thou not in the UFC. Sincalid in WEC and Southworth in Strikeforce

  • Scooby Doo

    Barao is a little monkey.

    • Joe Dog

      Check his DNA.

    • Wolf Ticket

      You son of a bitch. (I’m not hating, your nickname says it, right?)

  • Kenny Powers

    Thats sucks for Assuncao, he deserves the next shot. But either way, Barao will kill both of them.

    • Seth

      Assuncao had medical suspension after UFC 170, so he wouldnt be ready for it. I guess he will face winner of that one 🙂

  • uncle

    Damn! it seems like Barao is the only active champion
    in the UFC.


    This shows how weak this division is !!! atleast Assunção is on a 6 fight win

  • RubeKegal

    TJ Dillashaw?? Man that guy is going to get killed.


    I wonder how UFC will try to sell this : “T.J. Dillashaw, one of the GREATEST talents out of Team Alpha Male, riding a one fight win streak, is a greatest threat to Renan Barao”

  • Truthcore

    lol, Dillashaw?? should’ve given the title shot to MIZUGAKI before Dillashaw…

  • MaritalArtist

    I think Dillashaw has a chance. He’s a very smart fighter, and Barao can’t win forever. If he doesn’t beat Barao, Faber will get a rematch for sure.

  • Science of MMA

    I think they should have a lottery so that one lucky fan regardless of weight can fight for a world title against Barao. That is how pointless this fight is. TJ has no reason to be in there with Barao. The only thing this fight does is add to team Beta Males record of being beta males.

    1.)Uriah Faber Beta Male losses for the title against Mike brown twice, jose aldo, Dominick Cruz twice, and Renan Barao twice. Total of 7 title losses

    2.)Chad Mendes losing as the favorite in NCAA wrestling tournament finals and losing to Jose Aldo for the belt.

    3.) Joseph Benavides losing to Dominic Cruz twice and Mighty Mouse Twice

    4.)Tj dillashaw losing on the Tuf finally to John Dodson and also about to lose to Barao for the title.

    In total fighting to become the champion (alpha) of anything, team beta male is 0-15.

    Definition of an Alpha: In social animals, the alpha is the individual in the community with the highest rank. Male or female individuals or both can be alphas, depending on their species. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair. Other animals in the same social group may exhibit deference or other symbolic signs of respect particular to their species towards the alpha or alphas.

    Definition of a Beta:Beta animals often act as second-in-command to the reigning alpha or alphas and will act as new alpha animals if an alpha dies or is otherwise no longer considered an alpha.

    Any article written about anybody from this team hear on out must refer to them as team Beta Male or it is not scientifically accurate.