Renan Barao looked every bit invincible in the Octagon, until UFC 173.

T.J DIllashaw shocked the world with his stunning 5th round knockout victory over erstwhile champion Renan Barao on May 24th. The 28 year old Sonora, California native snapped Barao’s 32 fight unbeaten streak in sensational fashion, dominating the Brazilian right from the opening bell. Barao had not lost a fight since his pro debut in 2005 and a no-decision in 2007 was the only other blot in his record. But Dillashaw did his homework and outhustled Barao with his striking and ring generalship to win the UFC Bantamweight title at UFC 173.

Why Not Barao?

Dillashaw was looking forward to defending the belt against Raphael Assuncao, the 3rd ranked bantamweight by the UFC, who dealt Dillashaw the second loss of his career last October 2013 in Brazil. Although Assuncao won the bout by split decision, most fight observers scored the fight for Dillashaw. T.J has been since eager to avenge that defeat and it seemed that their paths would collide in Dillashaw’s first title defense.

But the UFC decided to give Barao the rematch by virtue of his dominance in the last decade. UFC president Dana White concedes that Barao was clearly and badly beaten at UFC 173, but that does not take away the fact that he was unbeaten for nearly ten years and 32 fights. White added that a rematch would makes sense and that it’s the fight that everyone wants to see.

Wish Granted

The Barao camp had their wish granted with the announcement of the fight. Last month, Barao’s Coach Andre Pederneiras called out Dillashaw and challenged him to do a rematch with Barao. Pederneiras argued that a rematch would be fair and he even dared DIllashaw to be man enough to fight Barao in Brazil at a UFC event this coming October.

But after both were given the medical clearance to fight again, the UFC wasted no time in setting up the rematch as the main event of UFC 177 on August 30th at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

So while Barao did not get his wish to fight in Brazil, he will get a rematch earlier than he planned.

Unfamiliar Territory

Barao (32-2-1 with 8 KOs and 14 submissions) will be in unfamiliar territory on August 30 as this will be the first time he will be fighting after a loss since his first professional fight. He will also be facing an additional challenge as the fight will be held in DIllashaw’s hometown of Sacramento, California. The Nova Uniao fighter has a 7-1 record in the UFC and holds twin victories over DIllashaw’s Team Alpha Male team captain Urijah Faber.

Dillashaw (10-2 with 4 KOs and 3 submissions) has won six of his last seven bouts since losing to John Dodson in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 in 2011. He will be looking to affirm his UFC 173 victory over Barao and solidify his claim as the top bantamweight fighter in the UFC.

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