Jul 24, 2015

UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2 Picks and Predictions

Live from Chicago, IL comes the long-awaited (for someone out there anyways) rematch between Renan Barao and TJ "My heart is torn between Bang and Team Alpha Male" Dillashaw. You would think that a fight between a man who had one of the most impressive win streaks in the history of the sport, and a man on winning side of one of the most surprising upsets in the history of the sport would carry a bit more heat, but unfortunately we are not really seeing that. The lower weight divisions have failed to captivate the imaginations of the public, with the featherweight division only very recently finding some traction. It's a shame though, because even though I am not entirely chomping at the bits for this rematch, it should definitely still be a good one. Meanwhile, in the co-main event slot we get to see whether Miesha "Takedown - stop trying to make Cupcakes happen" Tate inches one step closer for the right to lose to Ronda a third time, or if we potentially have some new blood in the contender mix.

TJ Dillashaw (c) vs Renan Barao 
via 411mania.com
Enter the rematch. If you look at our picks for the first fight, I am pretty sure it was a unanimous route for Barao, and I don't think most of us thought it would be all that close. Enter one of the greatest upsets in modern MMA. TJ's dismantling of Barao was so thorough that now we stand on the opposite side of the fence going the other direction. It will be impossible to ever really know if maybe Barao came in over confident, or if he had possibly overlooked TJ in their first go, but it should be said with certainty that he will be more focused in the rematch. I expect Renan to come hard and fast at TJ, but until he shows me that he knows how to deal with TJ's movement and footwork, my eyes will carry my opinion here and what they know is that TJ looks like the evolution of the sport. TJ by TKO third round.

Dillashaw: unanimous

Jessica Eye vs Miesha Tate
I am a big fan of Evil Eye's work, but what we are getting here is the very classic striker vs grappler matchup. Some friends have asked me how I think this fight will ago and I have told them all that we will know exactly how this fight is going to go in the first 20 seconds. Maybe Eye will shock the world and show some staunch takedown defense, but after seeing Miesha steal the fight back from silver medalist Sara Mcmann, it is tough for me to doubt in her ever again against anyone that is not Ronda Rousey. The problem with this fight is that it serves as a title eliminator where the favorite would then be inserted into a trilogy that almost no one is really interested in on a competitive level. But then again, that is not really Miesha's fault. She might just truly be #2 in the world. Miesha by RNC 2nd round.

Tate: unanimous

Edson Barboza vs Paul Felder 
via Uproxx.com

Do I believe an undefeated 31 year old can be labeled a prospect? In this sport, why not? Paul Felder is indeed the underdog here, but it is the by the slightest of margins. Felder is coming off the biggest win of his career with a beautiful spinning backfist that was the Last Call for Danny Castillo. He faces Edson Barboza who at times has seemed like a monster in the division. Barboza has faltered at times though to other legitimate prospects in the division whenever he surged. That leads us to the question of whether Felder will be one of those indeed legit foes who fells Captain Barboza. In my humble estimation good hands trump good kicks. Here's to banking that Paul's fists make it to Edson's face first. Paul Felder by KO round 1.

Barboza: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Gooms
Felder: Kid P

Takanori Gomi vs Joe Lauzon 
via blingee.com
I'll just come right out and say it. I didn't pick him to win, but I sure hope he does. Gomi came to the UFC way too late in his career, but it is always a joy to watch him fight. I don't mind being a hypocrite and yelling "PRIDE NEVER DIE" if he pulls off the feat. To my actual analysis, as I stated on the podcast, Lauzon is at this point a high level gatekeeper in the division and Gomi is not prime enough to walk through that gate anymore. DJ Mark offered a great counter point that Lauzon is an action fighter who can get wild, so if there is a guy that Gomi might sneak that big power punch at, it's this guy.
I like Lauzon to fight smarter now though as even he himself admits he's taken too many shots in his career already and to assert his sweet jits skills to control the fight. Lauzon by decision.

Gomi: DJ Mark
Lauzon: Dr Law, Gooms, Kid P

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