T. J. Dillashaw dragged Renan Barao behind the woodshed. | Photo: Jeff Botari/Zuffa/UFC/Getty
T.J. Dillashaw ran right over Renan Barao.
Dillashaw took care of Barao with fourth-round punches, as he retained the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight title in the UFC on Fox 16 headliner on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago. Barao (33-3, 8-2 UFC) withered against the cage 35 seconds into round four.
Fourteen months after he dethroned the Brazilian, Dillashaw (12-2, 8-2 UFC) was again the better man. The Team Alpha Male standout ran circles around Barao with his footwork and movement, blasted him with nifty combinations and generally steered clear of danger. The challenger’s movements became more and more labored as the fight dragged on, and Dillashaw showed him no mercy. He staggered Barao with a clean left hook early in the fourth round and uncorked a hellacious volley of lefts and rights that gave referee Herb Dean no choice but to step in to save the Nova Uniao rep from further punishment.
Dillashaw, 29, has won four fights in a row, the last three by stoppage in the championship rounds.
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Tate Sinks Eye, Wins Fourth Straight
Onetime Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate planted her flag as the No. 1 contender in the women’s bantamweight division by taking a unanimous verdict from Jessica Eye in the co-main event. Tate (17-5, 4-2 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27 marks from all three judges.
Eye (11-3, 1-2 UFC) started strong, as she connected with jabs, crosses, standing elbows and multi-punch bursts in the pocket. However, the complexion of the bout changed late in round one, where Tate detonated an overhand right on the jaw and sent the Strong Style Fight Team rep crashing to the canvas. The scene repeated itself in the second round, as “Cupcake” landed another overhand right, drove Eye back to the mat and took top position. Tate closed the frame with a mounted guillotine choke, sending a loud-and-clear message to her opponent.
The 28-year-old Tate tightened her hold on the match midway through the third round, as she secured a takedown and moved to Eye’s back. Though the fight-ending choke she sought never came to fruition, the win was hers.
Barboza Kicks Past Felder
Former Ring of Combat champion Edson Barboza won for the third time in four fights, as he claimed a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Paul Felder in a featured battle at 155 pounds. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for Barboza (16-3, 10-3 UFC).
Barboza’s kicks were the difference. He peppered Felder’s right side and legs with savage shots, slowing the Philadelphia native’s advances and leaving his ribs grotesquely discolored. Felder (10-1, 2-1 UFC) damaged the Brazilian’s right eye with a clean left hook in the first round, but the speed difference between the two lightweights became more and more glaring as the fight deepened. Barboza beat the onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder to the punch down the stretch and countered his spinning attacks with some of his own.
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Lauzon Rips Apart Gomi
Joe Lauzon disposed of former Pride Fighting Championships and Shooto titleholder Takanori Gomi with first-round ground-and-pound in a lightweight showcase. Gomi (35-11, 4-6 UFC) wilted 2:37 into round one, as his American adversary mercifully stepped away and allowed referee Herb Dean to pick up the pieces.
Lauzon (25-10, 12-7 UFC) changed levels off of a left hook, executed a takedown and transitioned to the back. He then set his hooks, dropped some elbows and flattened out the fading Gomi. Heavy punches came next, as Lauzon knocked the Japanese great unconscious. Seeing no need for further violence, he stepped aside out of respect for his opponent.