Fight blog recap: TJ Dillashaw mauls Renan Barao, finishes by TKO in round 4

It took TJ Dillashaw less time to finish Renan Barao the second time around than it did the first as the UFC bantamweight champion defended his title in spectacular fashion to cap FOX UFC Fight Night from Chicago.

Unlike the first fight, in which Dillashaw came in as a huge underdog, the champion was favored to win this time around, but it was impossible to predict that he would maul Barao in the manner he did over four rounds on Saturday night.

Dillashaw was picture perfect with his striking combinations, landing at will on Barao’s jaw with pinpoint accuracy and massive power.

At the end of round three, Dillashaw clipped and hurt Barao with a devastating left hand and it looked like the fight might be over, but the horn sounded, giving the Brazilian a chance to survive.

Dillashaw wasted no time in round four as he came out of a cannon and opened up a barrage and once he had Barao trapped against the cage, the Team Alpha Male fighter unleashed a flurry of strikes that pummeled the former bantamweight champion until Herb Dean called a stop to the fight.

In the co-main event, Miesha Tate put on a stellar performance as she out-dueled Jessica Eye over three rounds to earn another shot at the UFC women’s bantamweight title.

Tate knocked Eye down twice between rounds one and two and then used a superior grappling game to keep the Ohio native on the defensive until the final horn sounded.

Full results from FOX UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Barao 2 below:

MAIN EVENT: TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao

Round 1:

Barao lands a front kick to start the fight as Dillashaw keeps his feet moving in and out. Barao with a couple of hard knees to the body. Dillashaw comes over the top and nails Barao directly on the jaw. Dillashaw with another hard right hand and Barao is stunned! Dillashaw working from the clinch with short punches inside while Barao counters with knees to the body. Dillashaw switches between orthodox and southpaw and he’s just eating Barao alive with his boxing. Dillashaw goes high with a head kick that glances off Barao. Barao comes firing back before the end of the round.

10-9 TJ Dillashaw

Round 2:

Dillashaw with a hard left hand followed by a takedown attempt. Dillashaw separates and hits him with another left hand, Barao gets a quick takedown of his own but they bounce back up again in a hurry. Dillashaw comes back with two right hands that land directly on Barao’s jaw. Dillashaw is just picking Barao apart on the feet using superior speed and accuracy. Dillashaw in complete control through the first two rounds.

10-9 TJ Dillashaw

Round 3:

Dillashaw standing in front of Barao now and just out striking the Brazilian at distance and in close. Barao shoots in and Dillashaw sprawls and works back to the feet. Dillashaw pressuring Barao against the cage, just draining his body and making him work for every position. Dillashaw punishing to the body and still working for a takedown. Dillashaw hurts Barao with a monstrous left hand and he’s hurt again! Barao is barely hanging on as the round comes to an end.

10-9 TJ Dillashaw

Round 4:

Dillashaw cracks him with another huge left hand to start round 4 and Barao is hurt again! Dillashaw backs him up against the cage and he just opens up a barrage and Barao is just eating punch after punch after punch. Mercifully, Herb Dean steps in to stop the fight and Dillashaw retains the title!

Official result: TJ Dillashaw def. Renan Barao by TKO (strikes) at 0:35, R4

Analysis:

What else can you say about TJ Dillashaw’s performance except that it was the definition of dominance and he proved once again why he is the best bantamweight on the planet. Dillashaw shocked the world the last time he beat Barao, but there was no surprise in their second fight as he put on a similar show as he mauled the Brazilian for 15-plus minutes in the cage. Dillashaw has now defined himself as the best 135 pounder in the world and likely puts Barao out of title contention for a long, long time. Dillashaw likely will move on to face Raphael Assuncao, who holds a split-decision win over him in a fight they had in the UFC in 2013.

Miesha Tate vs. Jessica Eye

Round 1:

Tate comes charging out right away and Eye counters with two quick snap jabs to back her off. Tate struggling to deal with the hand speed from Eye. Eye blasts Tate with a series of hard right hands. Tate is hurt and she tries to shoot in for a takedown but Eye shrugs her off. Tate shoots in again and eats a hard left-right combo. Tate comes back and tags Eye with a right hand and puts her down! Tate gets on top with less than a minute to go. Tate landing some hard elbows as the round comes to an end.

10-9 Miesha Tate

Round 2:

Tate comes in with another hard right hand that clips Eye on the jaw. Tate lands another right before initiating the clinch against the cage. Eye breaks away and pops Tate with a punch on the way out. Tate with another hard right hand, Eye counters with a jab. Another big right hand hurts Eye and Tate gets her to the ground again. Tate looks for the guillotine choke from the top and Eye is in trouble. Eye survives the round but she’s down big going into round three.

10-9 Miesha Tate

Round 3:

Eye landing some good leg kicks to start round three, but she has to know she needs a finish if she wants to win. Eye doing a good job controlling the pace with her high volume of strikes, but Tate quickly shoots in and takes her to the mat. Tate has Eye’s back and she’s working for the rear naked choke. Eye hangs on and the referee eventually stands them up. Eye looks for a series of knees and elbows as the fight comes to an end.

10-9 Miesha Tate

FOX Sports scores it 30-27 for Miesha Tate

Official result: Miesha Tate def. Jessica Eye by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)

Analysis:

Possibly the most impressive performance from Miesha Tate since she’s been in the UFC and now it looks like she’ll receive another crack at the title. Tate has been a part of some notoriously close fights during her UFC career, but this time she was dominant from start to finish. Tate hurt Eye on the feet and then nearly finished her on the ground several times. This will undoubtedly set up a third fight between Tate and Ronda Rousey (assuming Rousey wins at UFC 190) and the fact is she’s probably still toughest matchup for the most dominant athlete in all of sports. 

Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder

Round 1:

Felder lands a good left hook that opens a small cut over Barboza’s eye. Barboza fires back with a pair of body kicks that thud off of Felder’s midsection. Barboza fires off a spinning back fist and nearly catches Felder. Barboza goes for a spinning kick but this one lands low and Felder drops to the mat in pain. Felder recovers and the fight restarts. Barboza with another kick to the body and there is a deep red welt developing on his ribs.

10-9 Edson Barboza

Round 2:

Felder is committing to the spinning back first and he finally tags Barboza with one of them in the second round. Barboza jumps in with a few hard combinations, but Felder’s head movement is outstanding and he avoids them all. Unfortunately, Felder can’t avoid another vicious kick to the body from Barboza that reverberates throughout the arena. Barboza goes for a spinning wheel kick and actually hits Felder in the back of the neck and follows it up with another hard body kick. Felder with a jumping knee that nearly lands. Barboza fires back with another hard kick of his own.

10-9 Edson Barboza

Round 3:

Barboza still hurting Felder with his kicks to the legs and body this round. 17 total body strikes for Barboza so far in the fight. Barboza adds in a straight punch that snaps Felder’s head back. Felder spins again and eats a kick to the body before shooting in for a takedown. Barboza breaks away and they are back to the center. Great performance from both fighters.

10-9 Edson Barboza

FOX Sports scores it 30-27 for Edson Barboza

Official result: Edson Barboza def. Paul Felder by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)

Analysis:

An amazing performance from both fighters and it’s hard to call either guy a loser after that one. Barboza brutalized Felder’s midsection, which likely earned him the victory on the scorecards. Chances are Barboza never will be an elite lightweight, but thanks to fights like he had on Saturday, the talented Brazilian striker always will have a job in the UFC. Felder doesn’t need to bow his head in shame because he showed up huge in his first fight against a top-15 fighter. When the night is over, UFC president Dana White should be handing bonuses to both of these guys. 

Joe Lauzon vs. Takanori Gomi

Round 1:

Gomi is head hunting and throwing hard punches at Lauzon early. Lauzon grabs a leg and drags Gomi to the mat and wastes no time taking the back. Lauzon just pounds away at Gomi’s head and the Japanese legend just goes out. Lauzon stands up and walks away but it wasn’t officially over. Once Gomi doesn’t get up, referee Herb Dean stops the fight. Strange way for it to end but Lauzon gets the win regardless of the stoppage.

Official result: Joe Lauzon def. Takanori Gomi by TKO at 2:37, R1

Analysis:

It was clear as soon as this matchup was made that Lauzon had a huge advantage on the ground and the second he got Gomi on the mat, the fight was basically over. Lauzon was just punishing from the back and actually called a stop to the fight before referee Herb Dean did when he felt Gomi had taken enough punishment. Lauzon is probably in line for another bonus — and he’s already the all-time leader with 13. Gomi suffers his second straight knockout loss and you have to wonder how much the PRIDE legend has left after a rough run towards the latter stage of his career. 

Gian Villante vs. Tom Lawlor

Round 1:

Villante cracks Lawlor with a hard right hand when they jump in and clash with strikes early in round one. Lawlor jumping in with a good overhand right that’s tagging Villante over and over again. Villante turns his focus on Lawlor’s lead leg and he starts to punish him with kicks. Lawlor’s leg starts to turn different shades of red from all the kicks he’s eating courtesy of Villante.

10-9 Gian Villante

Round 2:

Villante is aggressive to start round two and Lawlor counters with a short right hand that drops him to the mat! Lawlor follows up with a few more strikes on the ground, but Villante is clearly rocked in a bad way and the referee swoops in for the stoppage. Great comeback finish for Lawlor.

Official result: Tom Lawlor def. Gian Villante by KO at 0:27 seconds, R2

Analysis:

Amazing comeback for Lawlor after a rough first round against a very big and powerful opponent in Gian Villante. Lawlor moved back up to 205 pounds after a two-year absence from the sport and pulled off a win over a very tough light heavyweight fighter. Lawlor said after the fight that he’s going to stay at 205 pounds and it might be the right move. Light heavyweight is a painfully thin division and chances are Lawlor could climb up the ranks there in a hurry compared to his former weight class at 185 pounds. 

Jim Miller vs. Danny Castillo

Round 1:

Castillo looks for a head kick and Miller catches him and puts him on the ground. Miller keeps control and lands on top. Miller with a beautiful move to whip his leg up and around to get the mount. Miller starts looking for an armbar or triangle, but Castillo muscles out and ends up on top. Castillo can’t do much with the position and they work back to the feet.

10-9 Jim Miller

Round 2:

Castillo is looking to land a head kick but no success yet. Miller is doing a good job mixing up his leg kicks, both inside and out to tag Castillo on the feet. Miller with the crisper striking using his boxing and then setting it up with kicks to the legs and body. Castillo is still trying to land that big head kick, numerous times throughout the round.

10-9 Jim Miller

Round 3:

Good right hand from Castillo as Miller jumps in prematurely in the third and final round. Miller with a good left hand and he gets a quick takedown but Castillo is right back up to his feet after scrambling off the ground. Miller goes for a takedown, but Castillo stuffs him. Castillo scrambles and gets Miller on the ground instead and finishes the round in side control in a very, very close fight.

10-9 Danny Castillo

FOX Sports scores it 29-28 for Jim Miller

Official result: Jim Miller def. Danny Castillo by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Analysis:

Jim Miller gets a much needed win after two straight losses as he tries to re-establish himself in the shark pit known as the lightweight division. Miller is still going to be an ultra tough matchup for any one at 155 pounds and while his days as a top-five fighter might be behind him, the New Jersey native never will be an easy out for anybody in the UFC. As for Castillo, he drops his third fight in a row while going just 1-4 in his past five fights. Hopefully, the UFC gives him another shot because Castillo is a serviceable fighter who just hasn’t gotten wins lately. 

Kenny Robertson vs. Ben Saunders

Round 1:

Robertson wraps up a takedown against the cage and starts to hammer down with punches. Saunders gets control with rubber guard and escapes after attempting an omo plata. The fighters are back up again and in the middle of the Octagon. Saunders working a good kicking game just battering Robertson’s midsection. Robertson comes back over the top with wild, winging punches that back Saunders up. Saunders is destroying Robertson’s right arm as he tries to block the kicks. Robertson out of nowhere drops Saunders with a hard right hand! Saunders holds on until the end but what a round

10-9 Kenny Robertson

Round 2:

Saunders and Robertson are just exchanging huge strikes to start round 2. Robertson is landing better punches while Saunders is still loading up on the body kicks. Saunders accidentally shoots a kick low and the fight is paused while Robertson gets a moment to recover. Robertson puts the pressure on Saunders, traps him against the cage and starts to unload a barrage of punches. Saunders comes back with a knee of his own. Another fun round, very close to score.

10-9 Kenny Robertson

Round 3:

Saunders is punishing Robertson to the body again and Robertson counters with a power takedown. Saunders wraps up the rubber guard again and starts blasting away with elbows from the bottom and Robertson is busted open. Robertson is trapped and just eating shots while Saunders maintains control from the bottom. Saunders is beat Robertson from the bottom but he’s not going to finish him from there and the time runs out.

10-9 Ben Saunders

FOX Sports scores it 29-28 for Kenny Robertson

Official result: Ben Saunders def. Kenny Robertson by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Analysis:

Extremely close fight so there’s no shame in either one of those guys walking out with a win. Saunders was doing a ton of damage early with his kicks but then he got hammered with a right hand that could have cost him a round. The third round was definitive with Saunders blistering Robertson with elbows on the ground and that’s likely what got him the win. Saunders has enjoyed quite a career rejuvenation since returning to the UFC with three consecutive victories. A fight with Saunders and Tim Means sure sounds like a lot of fun right now. 

Eddie Wineland vs. Bryan Caraway

Round 1:

Wineland out aggressive but Caraway counters with a takedown before the fighters work back to the feet in a hurry. Neither fighter is very accurate with their strikes in the early going. Caraway attempts another takedown but Wineland shrugs him off. Wineland finally lands a good knee late in the round before the horn sounds.

10-9 Bryan Caraway

Round 2:

A hard right hand from Caraway to start round 2. Wineland is throwing a lot of punches but just can’t find his range or distance. Caraway gets the clinch and nails Wineland with a few uppercuts before they break away. Caraway isn’t as active, but he’s far more accurate up to this point in the fight.

10-9 Bryan Caraway

Round 3:

Caraway with a hard right hand to start the round. Wineland still defending the takedowns well but doing nothing to counter on the feet. Caraway with another trio of uppercuts after grabbing Wineland in the clinch again. Wineland tags Caraway with a hard right hand, probably his best punch of the entire fight. Caraway is still far more accurate as he picks and chooses his shots throughout the third round.

10-9 Bryan Caraway

FOX Sports scores it 30-27 for Bryan Caraway

Official result: Bryan Caraway def. Eddie Wineland by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Analysis:

Solid win for Bryan Caraway, especially considering he was forced to stand and trade with one of the most dangerous strikers in the division. Caraway wasn’t able to land many takedowns, but the threat of getting the fight to the ground seemed to take away Wineland’s confidence in committing to his punches. Caraway was more accurate and landed better shots throughout all three rounds and it gets him the win. Caraway’s girlfriend, Miesha Tate, was in his corner just hours before her fight with Jessica Eye. Maybe his win will inspire her performance later tonight!

Daron Cruickshank vs. James Krause

Round 1:

Krause is walking Cruickshank down so far while Cruickshank tries to find his way inside. Krause gets the trip and takedown and transitions to the back immediately. Krause wastes no time getting his arm under the neck and he cranks it and Cruickshank taps immediately. Quick and nasty finish from Krause.

Official result: James Krause def. Daron Cruickshank by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:27, R1

Analysis:

Very impressive win for James Krause just mauling Daron Cruickshank in the first round. Krause has definitely had a few ups and downs since coming to the UFC, but he looked confident in his striking before taking the fight to the mat and taking Cruickshank out immediately. Krause is still a fun prospect to watch at 155 pounds while Cruickshank drops his second straight bout while moving to 1-3 with one no-contest in his past five fights. 

Ramsey Nijem vs. Andrew Holbrook

Round 1:

Nijem with a good body kick to open things and Holbrook is looking for a takedown. Nijem wins the scramble, and he lands on top. Holbrook elbowing from the bottom while Nijem tries to improve position but they work back to the feet. Nijem lands a hard right hand that stuns Holbrook for a moment before they separate. Nijem dips under for another takedown. Nijem is hammering away with some hard ground and pound before the round ends.

10-9 Ramsey Nijem

Round 2:

Nijem nails Holbrook with a hard punch. He flurries but then ends up looking for the clinch against the cage. Nijem gets the takedown and Holbrook is trying to lock up a guillotine choke. Holbrook is transitioning well and he ends up with a D’Arce choke and he’s got Nijem in trouble. Nijem finally works free but he’s still defending the neck with Holbrook fishing for submissions. Nijem ends up on top at the end of the round. Really tough round to score.

10-9 Andrew Holbrook

Round 3:

Nijem is out of the gate firing hard again before getting the fight to the ground, and Holbrook is looking for a kimura. Holbrook switches and looks for a knee bar. Nijem rolls to escape and now Holbrook wants a heel hook. Nijem gets out again and now he’s on top and looking to take the back. Nijem is punching Holbrook from the top and still trying to take the back. Strange positions on the ground as these two scramble, but Nijem is getting the better of it.

10-9 Ramsey Nijem

FOX Sports scores it 29-28 for Ramsey Nijem

Official result: Andrew Holbrook def. Ramsey Nijem by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Analysis:

Really hard to agree with that decision considering the amount of time Nijem spent in control on top, landing hard punches and takedowns on Holbrook. The UFC newcomer showed great resilience as he attempted submission after submission to try for the finish, but Nijem escaped every time and maintained control in virtually every round. Tough to see how Holbrook got that win, but he still walks away victorious in his debut. 

Jessamyn Duke vs. Elizabeth Phillips

Round 1:

Phillips is moving inside and just cracking Duke with combinations. Duke is moving forward on a straight line and she’s eating a lot of punches. Phillips initiates a takedown and nearly gets caught in an armbar but eventually lands on top of Duke. Phillips transitions and takes the back and then rolls into mount. Phillips loses control and Duke is able to roll over just before the round ends.

10-9 Elizabeth Phillips

Round 2:

Duke looks for a guillotine choke and drops to the mat, but she doesn’t have good position and Phillips escapes with ease. Phillips is now on top in Duke’s half guard. Phillips is able to gain mount for a moment but Duke nearly escapes from the bottom. Phillips still controlling from the top. Phillips has the back and she’s looking for another choke but Duke is able to wiggle free. Lopsided fight through two rounds.

10-9 Elizabeth Phillips

Round 3:

Duke is finally stalking Phillips across the cage and working her punches before taking Phillips to the mat. Duke is trying to lock on a guillotine choke and it was on tight but Phillips is able to get out and work back to the feet. Duke is winning the exchanges now and Phillips is exhausted and she’s just trying to survive. Duke with another trip takedown and she’s trying to get a submission on the ground. Duke can’t quite wrap it up, and it may have cost her a decision.

10-9 Jessamyn Duke

FOX Sports scores it 29-28 for Elizabeth Phillips

Official result: Elizabeth Phillips def. Jessamyn Duke by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)

Analysis:

A solid performance from Phillips early but she ran out of gas in a big way in the third round and it nearly cost her the fight. Phillips lost two close decisions in her first two UFC bouts so it has to feel good to get this win. That said, Duke has dropped three fights in a row and she’ll likely exit the UFC and try to win her way back in. 

Zak Cummings vs. Dominque Steele

Round 1:

The fighters get to the middle of the Octagon and Cummings shows great confidence in his hand and blasts Steele with a hard left hand that stuns him! Steele is in trouble and Cummings just swarms on him with a huge combination with his left hand just pounding on Steele until the referee finally steps in to stop it. Very impressive!

Official result: Zak Cummings def. Dominique Steele by TKO at 0:43 seconds, R1

Analysis:

Cummings is an underrated welterweight with some really solid skills and he showed it with a lightning fast finish in round one. Cummings is well known as a grinder, but as soon as Steele was hurt, he swarmed and finished with a barrage. After being out for a year, Cummings looked great in his first fight back. 

FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT: DILLASHAW VS. BARAO 2

MAIN CARD (Airing on FOX at 8 p.m. ET)

MAIN EVENT: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao

Miesha Tate vs. Jessica Eye

Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder

Joe Lauzon vs. Takanori Gomi

FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS (Airing on FOX at 6 p.m. ET)

Gian Villante vs. Tom Lawlor

Jim Miller vs. Danny Castillo

Kenny Robertson vs. Ben Saunders

Eddie Wineland vs. Bryan Caraway

FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT EARLY PRELIMS (Airing on UFC Fight Pass at 4:15 p.m. ET)

Daron Cruickshank vs. James Krause

Ramsey Nijem vs. Andrew Holbrook

Jessamyn Duke vs. Elizabeth Phillips

Zak Cummings vs. Dominque Steele