T.J. Dillashaw shocked Renan Barao, dominating the UFC 173 main event on Saturday night in Las Vegas and winning the UFC bantamweight title.
Dillashaw actively moved and found angles to land numerous punches, finishing the bout at 2:26 of the fifth round by technical knockout.
“I've dreamed it for so long,” Dillashaw said, reacting to being the new 135-pound title holder. “It's the greatest feeling in the world.
“I had to bring my A-game to the champion of the world and it happened, baby.”
Dillashaw moved well throughout the opening round, sticking and moving against his opponent and landing a significant uppercut. With an overhand right, Dillashaw dropped Barao to the ground and nearly finished the fight. The champion survived the onslaught and made it through the first round.
Dillashaw continued utilizing his movement in the second round, landing strikes and immediately moving to find other angles. Barao landed a combination of his own halfway through the round, but Dillashaw kept staying active on the feet to avoid major damage.
Barao's offense appeared to hit a wall in the third round, allowing Dillashaw to keep landing combinations. Dillashaw also landed head kicks that were set up with fake punches, wobbling Barao a number of times.
The champion continued to get dominated in the fourth round, as Dillashaw found the precise angles to land punches of all sorts. Barao attempted a spinning back kick, but fell in his efforts, allowing Dillashaw to pursue on the ground and control from top position.
The end came in the final round where Dillashaw landed a tremendous head kick. Dillashaw then landed a left hand that put the champ on his back. While there, Dillashaw landed a number of strikes on the ground before referee Herb Dean stopped the contest.
With the win, Dillashaw became the first UFC title holder at Team Alpha Male. In defeat, Barao lost his first fight since his professional debut in 2005.
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