TJ Dillashaw on Renan Barao Rematch: ‘I’m Just a Better Fighter’

March 14, 2015
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In the UFC 173 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in May 2014, T.J. Dillashaw captured the 135-pound world title by handing then-champion Renan Barao his first loss in nine years.

The two will rematch at UFC 186 on April 25 in Montreal, and the titleholder, Dillashaw, says he’s more confident than ever heading into their second fight.

TJ-Dillashaw-UFC-177-post-press“I’m facing a monster again, Renan Barao, but I’m more confident than I’ve ever been. I’m getting better as a fighter still. I’m going to prove again on April 25 that it wasn’t a fluke,” said Dillashaw during a recent press conference in Los Angeles.

Not only does Dillashaw predict a victory over the former champion, he expects to dominate Barao.

“I’m going to be able to dominate him with my speed, and I’m just a better fighter all around,” said the champion.

“I’m really excited about it. I’m pumped to have this fight. He’s the No. 1 contender,” Dillashaw added. “He’s the guy that I’ve been wanting to beat and put behind me anyways, so now it’s time to do it.”

> SEE ALSO: MMAWeekly 2014 KO of the Year: T.J. Dillashaw Blasts Renan Barao

Despite Barao’s dislike of Dillashaw, the Team Alpha Male trained champion has nothing but respect for the former titleholder.

“I don’t hold anything against him. Actually, I have a lot of respect for the guy,” he said. “He’s been a great fighter for a very long time, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to beat him up.”

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    I’m not sure if he is trying to convince us or himself.
    Barao will get his belt back and put this fluke lose behind him.
    TJ is not as good as he thinks he is.

    • Sir_Roy

      Barao needs to cut weight correctly or he’ll lose again. (Unless he gets lucky and lands a clean one early on).

      He’s his own worse enemy, because he thinks he can cut easy as pie like he used to do in his early to mid twenties. He’s approaching 30 now and learning the hard way that the body changes on our way to our 30’s. Metabolism does change, and it has the tendency toward stacking (whether it’s muscle or fat, pending your propensities). Especially when you’re fighting at a mere 135 lbs. Has a far more substantial impact.

      At 28, Barao needs to get really smart with his diet and weight cut during his training camps now like he’s never done before. Or he’s going to be slow, sluggish and lose against a very crisp, fast (and smaller) Dillashaw.

      • TheCerealKiller

        Exactly! Not trying to use MMA math, but Barao had a very impressive record and TJ doesn’t. He’s got a belt because Barao had a bad day.

        • Sir_Roy

          Problem is, Barao could have another “bad” day if he doesn’t wake-up to the changes and the times. His body is telling him 135 lbs is far harder to maintain then it used to be and he needs to make the appropriate changes … or he’ll be struggling once again. And at that level of competition, no matter how “good” you are, you can’t afford to be anything other than 100%.

          Either way, this fight will clear up a lot of questions.

        • blob

          What is your MMA record ? Oh wait…..

          • TheCerealKiller

            Your troll record is thru the roof.

  • Groinstrike

    I personally think T.J is like Chris Weidman. I could be completely wrong though. I just feel like both fighters have done well because they match up well with the people they have fought. I personally feel for example that Anderson Silva was able to beat a wider array of people than Weidman will be able to beat. Same for TJ.

    • deepgrim

      i think TJ had a performance of a lifetime against barao, barao looked like a beast before that fight and people seem to forget that. i will be interested to see if he can do it again tho to confirm his ability. TJ has good wrestling and kickboxing and footwork, that usually makes him a bad matchup for a lot of fighters.

  • KJK

    Am I the only one that wouldn’t mind seeing Barao win this fight? I’m getting a little tired of TJ’s mouth. He seems pretty self important for a guy that won a title against Barao on Barao’s worst night and then beat a tomato can fighter in his first defense. He’s like the epitome of little guy syndrome gone awry.

    • polk14

      I would like to see Barao win. I think he took TJ lightly in the first fight and it cost him dearly. I really don’t like any member of TAM.

  • DamianCross

    Look at all this Barao damage control. Your boy can’t even get out of the bathtub, much less take the belt from TJ