A few months ago, T.J. Dillashaw was not even the bantamweight division’s No. 1 contender. Following a dominant victory over Renan Barao at UFC 173, the Team Alpha Male representative is the clear-cut king of the 135-pound division.
Dillashaw set the tone for his victory by dropping Barao with a right hand in the opening frame. Things would not improve for the Brazilian from there, as “The Ultimate Fighter 14” finalist kept Barao on his heels throughout the contest with rapid-fire striking and quick footwork. With his 22-fight winning streak a thing of the past, Barao has been removed from the ranks of the sport’s elite champions.
Meanwhile, Daniel Cormier throttled Dan Henderson in the UFC 173 co-headliner, a performance that no doubt struck fear into the hearts of light heavyweights throughout the division’s top 10. Some two months after narrowly losing out on welterweight gold, Robbie Lawler reaffirmed his spot as one of the top contenders at 170 pounds with a third-round stoppage of Jake Ellenberger.
Earlier this month, Matt Brown made a case for a step up in competition with a memorable third-round TKO of Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night in Cincinnati. “The Immortal” has now won seven straight fights inside the Octagon and figures to receive a top-10 foe the next time around.
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