TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 2, UFC on Fox 16, 25 July 2015
It is surprising to see how far TJ Dillashaw has come since his time on season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2011. At the time, he was a baby-faced wrestler that was determined to be champion. A cute kind of determination that you admired, knowing that there is a high probability he might not do that well.
Little did I know that TJ Dillashaw had two things in his pocket. Two things that no one else has, and few people will ever find. Flow and Renan Barao’s number.
It is well known in the fight world that Renan Barao is one of the greatest MMA fighter to have ever entered the cage. His win streak of 33 fights and being undefeated for almost 9 years rivals that of any MMA great. It was unfortunate that Renan didn’t really get his time in the MMA limelight as he didn’t start fighting for the more popular WEC and UFC promotios until late in his career.
It is even more well known that under the tutelage of Duane “Bang” Ludwig, TJ Dillashaw was able to find a seldom attainable slice of life that gives him the power, the ability, and the blessing to be great. Adopting the Dominick Cruz Dance, TJ Dillashaw worked hard with Duane Ludwig to make it his own. And it just so happens that not only does the Dominick Cruz Dance work, It works especially well against Renan Barao.
TJ Dillashaw was seemingly thrown into the lions den in TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 1. He proved the fight world wrong by putting us all into a trance with magnificent accuracy and unworldly footwork. This style did so well against Renan Barao, that there was no doubt in my mind that it would work again in TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 2. The only question in my mind was whether TJ Dillashaw had the discipline to keep this tiring style. Not get over-confident against such a dangerous opponent.
TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 2 was just as much a masterpiece as the first fight. TJ gliding majestically over the canvas, executing sudden angles and awkward moves. He never seemed to be in one place and always seemed to be able to go where he wasn’t heading. What makes this fight better, is that this time, TJ didn’t have the advantage of stunning Renan Barao with a solid jab in the first round. In this fight, TJ proved that his formula and his style worked by slowly picking Renan apart.
But having beat Renan Barao twice, does that make TJ Dillashaw the greatest Bantamweight fighter alive? Just because his style seems to have worked against one particular fighter. And that fighter just so happens to be one of the greatest. Does that automatically make TJ Dillashaw the best?
I’ve doubted TJ Dillashaw before and I’ve learned my lesson. Until someone can decipher the Dillashaw Dance, it seems that he might be king of the hill for a while yet.
TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao 2 full fight video