Jaws dropped around the world tonight in the main event of UFC 173 as TJ Dillashaw became the new UFC bantamweight champion of the world with a remarkable performance against Renan Barao that was capped off by a TKO finish in the final round.
Dillashaw with a leg kick to start. Barao tries a push kick. Dillashaw with an uppercut that just misses.
Dillashaw moving quickly on the outside as he circles. Barao tries a head kick and it’s blocked.
Now it’s Dillashaw trying a head kick of his own, then back to circling. Then he tries a front kick to the face. Barao with a body kick.
Leg kick for Dillashaw. Superman punch misses. He lands with an uppercut though and Barao scores with a counter at the same time.
Dillashaw lands a left and follows up with an uppercut. Spinning back kick from Barao.
Back to the leg kick for Dillashaw now. He’s been the busier fighter so far. More offense from Dillashaw and Barao bites down on his gumshield and starts swinging for the fences, but doesn’t find the target.
Dillashaw continues to mix up his strikes and looking really good in the process.
Suddenly Dillashaw lands a huge right over the top and it fells Barao like a tree. Barao’s not out though, but he’s hurt badly.
Dillashaw on top and looking to finish, but Barao’s aware and defends. Dillashaw looking for a submission finish now, taking the champs back, but Barao manages to get up and ends the round on his feet.
Dillashaw back to being light on his feet from the outside. Barao with a push kick attempt and then a left and right from him land.
Barao looks ready to throw down if required. Dillashaw with a little blood to the right of his face.
Dillashaw trying to land more shots, but Barao with another one-two combo.
Dillashaw with head movement as he comes forward. He tries a head kick but it’s blocked. He goes for it again and again it’s blocked.
A steady stream of blood flows from Dillashaw’s cut, but he’s fighting very well indeed.
Dillashaw goes low looking for a takedown. Doesn’t immediately get it and there’s a scramble before they both get upright.
Back on the feet and Barao lands a kick which strays to the groin and forces a brief stoppage.
Back at it they go and Barao tries a jab then slips. He tries a head kick, but it’s blocked. Barao lands a punch of his own.
Big right hand snaps Barao’s head back. Another punch lands and they exchange kicks.
Both men land with a solid punch apiece. Dillashaw with a body kick as they exchange in close.
Left hand connects for Dillashaw and he’s still getting the better of the striking battle as the second round comes to a close.
A flurry of strikes from both men starts the third. Leg kick lands for Dillashaw. He tries a high kick.
Dillashaw wades in bobbing and weaving and then tries to land with strikes. Barao goes for a head kick, but his opponent’s backed away out of danger.
Body kick lands for Barao and Dillashow hits home with a left hand. Leg kick for Dillashaw and then a punch.
Head kick for Dillashaw and then punches behind it as Barao looks a little unsteady. A few moments later though Barao seems solid on his feet and is still in this fight, but he needs to find a way to combat what the challenger is offering up so far.
Left and right hands land for Dillashaw and then a body kick to follow. Head kick again from him and it’s blocked.
Barao with a punches of his own and a kick to follow. Good left from Dillashaw.
Barao thinks he’s been poked in the eye during another exchange, but the ref tells them to continue to fight and Dillashaw tries to pour on the pressure with a barrage of strikes, but Barao’s ok and the round ends with the champion perhaps now needing a finish to retain his title.
Dillashaw with a takedown attempt to start the fourth round, but is unsuccessful.
That head kick from Dillashaw again, but Barao still defending it. Kick to the body now. Barao with a glancing kick to the body.
Body kick from Dillashaw after backing Barao up. A left hand lands hard for the challenger. Barao with a body kick.
Dillashaw pressing forward and Barao clips him with a jab. Dillashaw still coming forward though and is again backing the champion up. Another good left hand lands for him and Barao misses with a spinning kick.
Dillashaw is repeatedly backing up Barao with strikes, something we’ve never seen from the bantamweight champ before.
He now has Barao up against the cage in the clinch. They break apart and Dillashaw is still dancing around light on his feet.
Barao seems to lose his footing and Dillashaw gets on top. Barao goes for a leg lock and Dillashaw backs off and then gets back on top and stays there until the end of the round.
One round to go and so far it’s been pretty much all Dillashaw who’s put in the performance of his life.
Body kick from Barao and a leg kick from Dillashaw. Barao with a body shot. Barao tries a spinning head kick, but hits thin air. Soon after Dillashaw lands a good knee to the body in close.
Dillashaw still circling and then lands a left hand. Misses with a shot, pivots and then connects with another punch.
Beautiful movement from Dillashaw as he makes the champ miss and then unleashes offense of his own. He goes back to the head kick he’s been throwing all fight long and it lands! He follows with a big punch and Barao looks hurt.
He clubs him with a right hand and then drops him to the mat with a big left.
Wow, Dillashaw is laying down a barrage of punches on the ground and that’s it, this fight is over. Dillashaw earns a massive TKO victory at 2.26mins of the final round.
What an amazing performance from Dillashaw, your new bantamweight champion, excelling in the biggest fight of his career against the fighter many people had called the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.