“UFC Tonight” took a closer look at the main event Saturday night between T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao for the bantamweight title at UFC 177.
Stepping in as a guest host, Daniel Cormier let it be known that he feels there is one key area where the contest could shift.
“I think fight starts even before Barao goes into the Octagon. I was on his last card and he had the plastic on Tuesday before the fight. He has to manage his weight before the fight,” Cormier said. “In the fight, he needs to cut Dillashaw off and not follow him around. For Dillashaw, he needs to use his footwork, be fast, and mix in some takedowns this time because now Barao is ready for a striking battle with him.”
Brian Stann, also appearing as a guest host, discussed the striking aspect of the contest. Dillashaw dominated there in the first meeting before finishing Barao in the fifth.
“He has to cut off TJ and punch with him. He’s slower, but has heavier hands. He needs to strike first. He’s got to slow down Dillashaw – punch with him, not wait for him. And he needs to land the kicks,” Stann said. “For Dillashaw, he has to take away the confidence of Barao right away. After being dominated last time, Barao will have doubt in the back of his mind. If TJ can land some punches and do it again, it will make Barao doubt himself again. We could see another dominant victory by Dillashaw.”
And Kenny Florian pointed out a more aggressive approach by Barao if he wants to reclaim the title.
“He’s more of a counter-striker,” Florian said. “He’s a power striker. In the first fight, TJ was landing shots and getting out back out quickly. Barao needs to do direct attacks, right down the middle, with leg kicks and feint a little more.”
Front-Page Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie