TJ Dillashaw may just have dominated long-time bantamweight champion Renan Barao for almost five full rounds before TKO’ing him to win the title, but according to Dana White it looks as if he’s now going to have to do it all over again.
“[Dillashaw’s next fight] probably will be the Barao rematch,” White confirmed at a media gathering including MMAJunkie in Vancouver yesterday.
“Tell me if I’m wrong. I think we sat there and we started looking through the list of guys to fight T.J., and there is a list of guys, which is a great thing, but how do you not give it to Barao, the guy who was undefeated all those years? I agree he got a five-round a– whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not give him the rematch? And who doesn’t want to see it?”
The news will come as a blow to Rafael Assuncao who believes he should be next in line given that he’s on a five fight winning streak that includes a victory over Dillashaw back in October of last year.
After his title win even Dillashaw himself acknowledged that Assuncao had earned a shot at the belt.
“He’s on the longest win streak, he should be the next in line probably, and I’d like to get that fight back,” Dillashaw had stated on an edition of The MMA Hour a few weeks ago.
At the time he also seemed to be less than enthusiastic about heading into an immediate rematch with Barao.
“The one problem I have is that I dominated him,” Dillshaw said. “It wasn’t like I knocked him out in the first round with that right hand and it was a fluke. I went out there and proved what I know how to do against him is going to work, and I’m just to fast for him. He’s too slow.”
however, in the past few days Dillashaw has changed his tune and says he’s now happy to face whoever the UFC wants him to, whether it’s Barao or Assuncao.
“I fought with both of them. I think that they both deserve the title shot. Obviously, for Barao being such a dominant fighter, he has this right. He is still one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. He was a great champion, and he was coming in on an impressive win streak. So, whatever Dana White says, I’m in.”