T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao 2 likely on deck
VANCOUVER — At UFC 173, T.J. Dillashaw pulled off one of the most awe-inspiring victories of all time when he upset former bantamweight king Renan Barao despite coming into the fight as an 8-to-1 underdog.
Dillashaw beat Barao in every facet of the game and after he was up four rounds, cruising toward a unanimous decision, the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up pushed harder than ever in the fifth and final round and put the champion down for good to get the TKO victory.
Following the title win, Dillashaw visited the UFC offices recently in Las Vegas to receive a nice surprise from the promotion. Dillashaw won the title while still under his original Ultimate Fighter contract earned after competing on the reality show. With a championship now wrapped around his waist, the new bantamweight king earned a hefty pay raise.
"What we did was we brought him into the office and ripped his contract into tiny little pieces and made him a new one," White told FOX Sports on Friday.
The UFC also discussed Dillashaw’s first title defense and while there were a number of options, the choices kept narrowing back down to one particular fight with the highest interest — a rematch with the former champion.
"It’s probably going to be a (Renan) Barao rematch," White revealed. "Tell me if I’m wrong, as we sat there and started looking through the list of guys to fight T.J. and there’s a list of guys, which is a great thing. How do you not give Barao (the fight)?
"The guy was undefeated for all those years and I agree, he got a five round ass-whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not to give him the rematch. Who doesn’t want to see it?"
The news that Barao will likely get the first crack at Dillashaw as champion will probably leave Raphael Assuncao in a very unhappy place. The Brazilian was chomping at the bit to get a shot at the belt considering he just defeated Dillashaw one fight ago, albeit in a very close split decision victory.
It appears the UFC would rather go for the automatic rematch considering the kind of wins Barao racked up before the first fight with Dillashaw.
As far as other opponents, the name Urijah Faber also popped up when discussing Dillashaw. The two fighters are friends and teammates at the same camp in Sacramento, and while they’ve both stated on numerous occasions they have no desire to face each other, a title on the line changes everything.
White knows with the belt up for grabs they could book Dillashaw vs. Faber immediately and there would be no problems getting it made.
"They’ll fight each other tomorrow," White said. "Tomorrow, trust me, that fight is absolutely one of the other ones that could happen."