Well, it wasn’t the Renan Barao rematch we were expecting (because of this), but it was a pretty good fight, all things considered. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight titleholder TJ Dillashaw (11-2) successfully defended his 135-pound strap by knocking out a very game Joe Soto in round five of the UFC 177 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which took place on Sat. night (Aug. 30, 2014) inside Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.
See how it all went down in our UFC 177 live play-by-play thread here. Soto filled in for Barao after the Brazilian failed to make weight, and despite only training for a three round bout opposite Anthony Birchak, the former Bellator kingpin proved to be One Bad Mofo through four-and-a-half rounds, landing his jab and showing outstanding head movement. Dillashaw was simply busier. The champ needed two rounds to get his groove back, but by the third frame appeared to be in cruise control.
My unofficial clicker had him outlanding the challenger 5-to-1. The Viper also scored a trio of takedowns leading up to the fifth and final frame, which ended by way of violent head kick. Followed up by one on the button before referee Big John McCarthy mercifully intervened. After the fight, Dillashaw mentioned his desire to fight anyone the promotion put in front of him. The leading candidate — since Barao will not get an immediate title shot — is former champion Dominick Cruz, assuming The Dominator can get past Takeya Mizugaki next month in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s a wrap from Sactown. Your take?
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