TJ Dillashaw put on the most impressive performance of his career in defeating John Lineker at Friday night’s UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Dillashaw was ranked the No. 1 bantamweight in the UFC heading into the fight, while Lineker sat at No. 2 in the division, having blasted numerous opponents with his heavy hands. Dillashaw, however, didn’t care.
Dillashaw was aggressive from the opening bell. He immediately began pressuring Lineker, staying out of his power range, using a variety of kicks to attack Lineker, while simultaneously keeping his hands at bay.
Just when it appeared Dillashaw would try to do the dance with Lineker on the feet, he shot and planted the Brazilian on his back, grounding and pounding him for the next couple minutes.
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Round two was huge for Dillashaw. While Lineker started quickly and landed a shot to the body, Dillashaw continued attacking with a variety of kicks until he could once again shoot the takedown.
He kept Lineker on the canvas for the better part of the round, really opening up on him with an assortment of hammerfists, elbows, and punches from half guard for several minutes.
Finding so much success in the first two rounds, Dillashaw, making Lineker miss on the feet, went back to the takedown in the final round, again planting him on the canvas.
While Lineker tried to escape, Dillashaw swarmed him, punching and hammerfisting from every angle, before eventually going for a calf slicer leg submission. He couldn’t secure the submission and Lineker returned to his feet.
With the clock running out, Lineker opened up with some hard shots to the body, but they didn’t appear to faze Dillashaw, who remained engaged until the final horn.
Not surprisingly, the judges were unanimous, scoring the fight 30-26 on all three cards in favor of the former UFC bantamweight champion.
It was a great show of sportsmanship by Lineker, who lifted Dillashaw up and carried him around the cage after Bruce Buffer revealed the scores.
“(I’m) very happy, man. No one has dominated him like that before,” Dillashaw told interviewer Joe Rogan after the fight, but it didn’t take long for him to shift gears and take aim at the championship he once held.
“I want my belt! That’s my belt. Dominick Cruz is a bitch! I’m fighting number one contenders. That’s my belt. I want it back!” Dillishaw declared.
“Cruz, we all know you’re running scared. If I don’t get a title shot in my next fight, we all know this (expletive) is rigged.”
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