TJ Dillashaw produced one of the most impressive performances in UFC history to overcome long odds and dethrone long-time bantamweight champion Renan Barao last month. Now, the UFC is telling him, "do it again."
According to UFC president Dana White, Dillashaw may likely be forced to give an immediate rematch to Barao as his next bout. “[Dillashaw's next fight] probably will be the Barao rematch," MMA Junkie reported White as saying.
“Tell me if I’m wrong. I think we sat there and we started looking through the list of guys to fight T.J., and there is a list of guys, which is a great thing, but how do you not give it to Barao, the guy who was undefeated all those years? I agree he got a five-round ass whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not give him the rematch? And who doesn’t want to see it?”
White's reasoning seems as garbled as his statement explaining it. So, Dillashaw and Barao's fight was completely one-sided and conclusive, there is a long list of solid and fresh contenders for the new champion to face, but...no?
So, when a title fight is actually controversially close, thrilling and has fans demanding an immediate rematch (ala Jones vs. Gustfasson and Hendricks vs. Lawler), the UFC drags its feet and doesn't make those fights happen but White just has to have a rematch of a one-sided bout with no controversy simply because the former champ was a title-holder for a long time. Sounds to me like UFC top contenders are in for a rough ride these days.
Either, they arguably win their title fight in guts and glory fashion, like Gustafsson and Lawler, and then get pushed aside afterwards and made to wait for another crack at the belt or...they completely dominate the champion but are made to do it again a few months later. Tall order.
Who knows, perhaps we're wrong. Maybe all you fans are clamoring to see Barao has the answer for Dillashaw a second time around (and if he does, we'd probably see a third fight right after).
Let us know in the comments section.