For the first time since 2005, Renan Barao will go to bed off a loss inside the cage, dropping the bantamweight title to T.J. Dillashaw Saturday night at UFC 173.
Barao (32-2) had not lost since his debut in ’05 in Brazil to Joao Paulo Rodrigues de Souza. Since, he had won 32 fights and had another ruled a no-contest. That included wins over Urijah Faber (twice), Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland.
“It was a tough fight,” Barao said. “Congratulate him. It was his night, but I’m coming back.”
Barao was out-struck through the four-plus rounds of action and almost finished in the opening moments after eating a straight jab from Dillashaw. The Team Alpha Male fighter avenged those two losses by Faber to Barao.
“I wanted to go in there and do what I do,” Barao said. “I’m going to come back.”
Barao didn’t get a chance to come out and attack like he had done against Faber, McDonald and Wineland, as Dillashaw made sure he was quicker throughout. Showing the speed of former UFC champion Dominick Cruz, Dillashaw relied on his “Bang Muay Thai” skills.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie