According to UFC president Dana White, new UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw will likely have a rematch for his next fight.
However, it won’t be against expected contender Raphael Assuncao.
Instead, White believes former champion Renan Barao will get the first crack at winning the belt back from the Team Alpha Male fighter.
“(Dillashaw’s next fight) will probably be the Barao rematch,” White told MMAjunkie.com recently. “I agree he got a five-round-(expletive)-whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not give him the rematch? And who doesn’t want to see it?”
Dillashaw (10-2) was in complete control, almost finishing Barao (32-2) early in the fight. He remained the aggressor, dominating the action before scoring a finish in the fifth round while up on all three scorecards.
Assuncao actually defeated Dillashaw via split decision last year in Brazil and was expected to face Barao for the belt. However, an injury kept him from securing the championship fight and it went to Dillashaw.
“When you watch that fight last time, people were losing their minds because nobody saw that coming,” White said. “They go in there and put on an unbelievable war. Is that not what you want to see again.”
Barao had not lost in years and was on a 33-fight unbeaten streak before running into Dillashaw, who finally gave Team Alpha Male UFC gold. Urijah Faber had been topped twice before by Barao, while Chad Mendes was unsuccessful in attempting to dethrone Jose Aldo for the featherweight title.
“We sat there and we started looking through the list of guys to fight T.J. and there is a list, which is a great thing, but how do you not give it to Barao?” White asked.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Joshua S. Kelly