T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao are going to do it all over again. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
T.J. Dillashaw’s first title defense will come in his backyard, and it will likely come against a familiar foe.
A rematch between Dillashaw and Renan Barao has been targeted for UFC 177 on Aug. 30 in Sacramento. News of the 135-pound championship bout was first reported on Wednesday’s episode of UFC Tonight. While nothing has been made official, the matchup is reportedly on the verge of being finalized.
Dillashaw, who trains with the Sacramento-based Team Alpha Male camp, authored a career-defining performance in his first meeting with Barao at UFC 173. Dillashaw dominated the Nova Uniao star for four-plus frames before stopping him with a head kick and follow-up punches 2:26 into the final stanza.
Dillashaw’s only defeat since falling to John Dodson at the “TUF 14” finale came at the hands of Raphel Assuncao this past October. Assuncao, who has won six straight fights, was supposed to be next in line for a title shot, but it appears that he will have to wait a little longer for his opportunity.
Before his upset loss to Dillashaw, Barao had gone unbeaten in 33 consecutive fights. The Brazilian owns wins over Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen, Urijah Faber (twice), Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland during his promotional tenure.