UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barao II will air on July 25, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
(C) T.J. DILLASHAW (12-2-0) vs #1 RENAN “THE BARON” BARAO (35-2-0, 1NC)
This is a five round fight for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. This fight will be a rematch between Dillashaw and Barao who faced off in 2014 at UFC 173. Dillashaw showed a dominating performance against Barao, who was considered to be the heavy favorite in the fight and even labeled as one of the top pound for pound fighters during that time. Dillashaw brings wrestling, kickboxing and Muay Thai that have shown to be very helpful in finishing most of his fights and were of great use in the last confrontation with Barao. Barao brings jiu-jitsu and great striking that have helped him not only become the former UFC Bantamweight Champion, but also lead him to a near ten year winning streak making him one of the most dominate fighters ever in mixed martial arts. Now second title fights are always a must, but they aren’t always as good or any different from the first match and this fight looks like it will be just that. With Dillashaw’s great athleticism it seems that he will be able to once again demolish the former champion in another brutal beating and retain the gold once more. However, if Barao tries to set up more striking and takedown combinations he just might be able to catch Dillashaw off guard and score a knockout or even submission against the champion and reclaim the belt that he believes is truly his own. Though Dillashaw will not make it an easy fight and everyone knows that he has improved greatly since their last confrontation, fans must wonder if Barao stands a chance or if history will repeat itself. My prediction: Dillashaw wins via knockout in Round 3.
#2 MIESHA “CUPCAKE” TATE (16-5-0) vs #5 JESSICA “EVIL” EYE (11-2-0)
This is a three round title eliminator in the women’s bantamweight division. This fight contains two of the top women fighters that are looking to have a crack at the title and to show everyone why they are the true champion of the women’s bantamweight. Tate brings wrestling and jiu-jitsu that has made her well equipped on both feet and ground making her a tough challenge, which was proven in her two bouts against the current Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Eye brings mainly striking with not much of anything else, though it has made her style not only great in power, but stamina as well to where she can last long rounds against her opponents and score crucial points to win decision bouts. This fight seems like it will be interesting to watch since it will contain a grappler facing a striker, however Eye’s takedown defense is not all that great and if she went to the ground against Tate she might not be able to withstand all the submission attempts and strikes that would land on her. This fight seems like Tate has an easy victory ahead for her, but what could give Eye the advantage is her power in striking that she could use to wear Tate down or hurt her to the point that she could put Tate away with a knockout. Though with the chin that Tate posseses it will not be an easy knockout for Eye. If Evil Eye does not use more than just striking in this fight, then it looks like she can kiss her title shot goodbye. My prediction: Tate wins via unanimous decision.
#7 EDSON “JUNIOR” BARBOZA (15-3-0) vs PAUL “THE IRISH DRAGON” FELDER (10-0-0) This is a three round fight in the lightweight division. In this fight are two fighters that contain almost the exact style of skills, which will then prove to see who is really more skilled at the techniques they have mastered. Barboza brings Taekwondo, Muay Thai, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu that has lead him to win fifteen of his eighteen fights, but also placed him as a top fighter with his eyes on a title shot. Felder brings taekwondo, karate and jiu-jitsu that has lead him to remain undefeated and continue his streak in this upcoming bout. With this fight consisting of two fighters that are mere identical in technique it appears that this fight will be exciting to watch, but Felder’s knockout power might be just want he needs to put Barboza away in this fight since Barboza has never really faced anyone with the kind of knockout power that Felder posses. On the upside, Barboza does possess a level of jiu-jitsu that is greater than Felder’s jiu-jitsu that would come in great play to where he could possibly gas Felder out or even make him submit giving Felder his first professional loss of his career. My prediction: Felder wins via knockout in Round 1.