There is a new UFC Bantamweight Champion, and his name is TJ Dillashaw.
After more than four rounds of domination, Dillashaw–a significant underdog–finished Renan Barao to claim the 135 pound belt at Saturday’s UFC 173.
The finish, which came via TKO in the fifth round, marked Barao’s first loss since his professional debut in 2005. It was his first defeat as a UFC competitor.
While analysts said Dillashaw’s only path to victory would be to use his wrestling ability, the fighter instead proved himself to be the more dominant striker. Dillashaw convincingly outpointed Barao in all areas of the stand-up game.
Midway through the fifth round, Dillashaw dropped Barao before finishing the fight with punches. It was not Dillashaw’s first knockdown of the fight–he scored one in the first round–but it was the one that officially put the belt around his waist.
The fight was waved off due to TKO at 2:26 of Round Five.
Other results from the show:
Jingliang Li def. David Michaud via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta via technical submission (D’Arce choke) at 0:57 of Round 2
Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno via TKO (punch) at 4:06 of Round 1
Michael Chiesa def. Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
James Krause def. Jamie Varner via TKO (ankle injury) at 5:00 of Round 1
Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger via TKO (punches) at 3:06 of Round 3
Daniel Cormier def. Dan Henderson via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:53 of Round 3