TJ Dillashaw put on a mesmerizing performance at UFC 173. One person who didn't get to witness it was the man who was facing Dillashaw in the main event, Renan Barao.
Barao had a media scrum in Brazil that Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com was able to grab some interesting quotes from.
"I remember everything that happened until that point," Barao said. "After (that punch), I only woke up in the locker room. The fight was really close in the beginning, but everything changed after that punch."
The punch Barao mentions is the one landed by Dillashaw in the opening round that floored the Brazilian. Following the knockdown, the former UFC bantamweight champ said he was basically fighting on autopilot.
It's not the first time we've heard of a fighter making it through a rough outing while on autopilot.
Barao also explained that he believes a different result will occur at UFC 177.
"I accepted the fight on short notice and I wasn’t 100 percent ready for it, but this time will be different," Barao said. "I never trained so hard in my entire life, so it’s going to be different."
Depending on your view of the UFC 173 clash, this either echoes the fact that Barao didn't take Dillashaw as a legit contender or seems like an odd excuse. It was Dillashaw stepping in for an injured Raphael Assuncao while Barao should've been in the middle of his training camp. Perhaps Barao meant he didn't have enough time to game-plan, but he shouldn't have been out of shape.
It's also shocking to hear that Barao says he doesn't remember anything after the first knockdown. In the fight against Dillashaw, he still showed signs of life in the second round. He had his moments in the second frame, and despite getting worked over by Dillashaw up until the finish, Barao never seemed to be totally out of it in the way Dos Santos did in his title fight with Cain Velasquez.
But that's the intrigue the UFC is hoping will turn into pay-per-view buys at UFC 177. Is Dillashaw really as good as he looked at UFC 173? Or was it just a case of Barao not taking a title challenger seriously?
Hopefully MMA fans will have clear answers to those questions following UFC 177 on Aug. 30.
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