TJ Dillashaw BeltUFC on Fox 16 Date: July 25, 2015 Arena: United Center City: Chicago, IL Bantamweight title bout: TJ Dillashaw (-250) vs Renan Barao (+210) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC on FOX 16 in Chicago will be a rematch for the promotion’s bantamweight title between current champion TJ Dillashaw and former champion Renan Barao. Dillashaw is favored to win at -250 ($250 to win $100) in this contest and Barao is a +210 ($100 to win $210) underdog at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. TJ Dillashaw (11-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) last saw action at UFC 177 nearly a year ago, where he defeated short notice replacement Joe Soto via knockout in the fifth and final action, extending his winning streak to three while simultaneously defending his UFC bantamweight title. He was scheduled to face Barao in that bout in a rematch, but the Brazilian fainted while cutting weight and was removed from the card. The Duane Ludwig trained fighter is an excellent striker with nice hands and solid kicks; not to mention he is incredibly quick on the feet with all limbs. Dillashaw has great footwork and head-movement, does a very good job of moving around the Octagon and pushing the pace, as well as counter-striking. His timing is excellent, so his counters are often precise. His striking has been constantly improving ever since teaming up with the aforementioned Ludwig. The Team Alpa Male product works a solid jab, has a great uppercut and does a good job of finding a home for his straight-right. Heis a well-rounded fighter who excels at everything. Dillashaw is not just good in every area; he is great in every area. He is well-versed both on the feet and on the mat, as he is an excellent wrestler and has a solid submission game, both offensively and defensively. The Ultimate Fighter season 14 finalist is very dangerous with his chokes, especially his guillotine. He is an athlete with tremendous conditioning, so despite the extended layoff, he should be ready for 25-minutes of action, if necessary. Renan Barao (32-2-1 NC MMA, 8-1 UFC) returned to action and the win column with a unanimous decision over Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58 eight months ago and he is ready to take back his title in this rematch with California’s Dillashaw. The Nova Uniao product is a very talented striker who has great movement and likes to fight in a technical style that does not only score points but also inflicts significant damage upon his opponents. Barao is by no means a point fighter; he is always looking for openings for a finish and opportunities to pounce. He can take an opponent’s back in a heartbeat if he sees a split-second of an opening. His submission game is excellent, as he owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He’s very good at locking up chokes and sometimes does so before his opponents realize what is happening. To compliment his offensive submission game, he also has solid submission defense, still having never been submitted in his professional mixed martial arts career. The 28-year olds striking defense is excellent, too, as he is generally not an easy target to hit. If a fight with him goes to the mat, it is likely because he wants it there. Barao has tremendous takedown defense, having defended 100% of takedown attempts in his UFC career. As for his cardio, I expect the Brazilian to have it in check for a 25-minute war, should the fight go the distance. Gabe’s Call: Dillashaw by Technical Submission (guillotine choke, 1:08) Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this is a fight that could go either way, and am not confident in Dillashaw because of his extended layoff. I could see this fight ending early, and I could see either fighter earning the finish. For that reason, I am opting to take the Under 4.5 rounds rounds total here at -165. If Dillashaw wins, I think he finishes more often than not. Same goes for Barao. Regardless of who wins, I think they make it happen within 15 minutes of action, as I don’t see this scrap reaching the Championship rounds. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Under 4.5 rounds (-165) 3.3u to win 2u.