Considering Renan Barao has gone 10-1 since he began fighting for ZUFFA, chances are a lot of people would say the former UFC champ is suited just fine for the bantamweight division. Well, the man who handed Barao is first loss in approximately nine years, however, apparently isn’t one of them.
That man, of course, is TJ Dillashaw, who stopped Barao last May to become the UFC 135 champ, and ended one of the sport’s greatest runs to date. The two have been booked to fight again at UFC 186 on April 25th, after Barao failed to make weight for a scheduled rematch last August.
After Barao’s weight cutting disaster, he was tapped to fight Mitch Gagnon last December, instead of receiving another title shot. The Brazilian fighter went on to record a third round, submission win, but Dillashaw evidently didn’t think much of the victory.
Dillashaw recently appeared on the “MMA Hour”, and while discussing Barao’s last win, he stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“As the great GSP would say, I was not impressed with his performance. He didn’t look good against Gagnon,” Dillashaw said. “Him missing weight (at UFC 177) was completely unprofessional. I think he’s too big for the weight class in general.”
“I think he’s too slow for the weight class. I’m going to prove that again. He feels like a step behind. Gagnon could’ve won the fight if he wouldn’t have gassed himself out. Gagnon looked faster than him. I feel like it’s just going to take a toll on him with how much weight he’s cutting and how long his camp is going to have to be for cutting weight. For me, I don’t have to start cutting weight until a week out.”
How about them apples huh? Of course, Barao’s supporters likely aren’t going to care for these comments, as we are talking about a dude who has taken out top tier talent like Michael McDonald, Eddie Wineland, and Dillashaw’s own buddy, Urijah Faber (twice). So, if Barao’s too slow, then what does it say about those guys?
That said, however, Dillashaw certainly beat Barao to the punch throughout their UFC 173 scrap and he was a step behind for much of it. But does that say more about Dillashaw’s impressive abilities? Or the fact that Barao should consider moving to 145?
UFC 186 will be hosted by Montreal’s Bell Centre Arena and will also feature a welterweight bout between contenders Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard.