UFC 173: BARAO VS. DILLASHAW takes place this evening at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and features a Bantamweight Championship bout between title-holder Renan Barao and challenger TJ Dillashaw of Team Alpha Male. Can Dillashaw unseat the king of the 135-pound division and end Barao’s massive win streak?
In the co-headliner, Daniel Cormier puts his unbeaten record against hard-hitting legend Dan Henderson in a Light Heavyweight match with title implications. Also, in a battle between top Welterweight knockout artists, Robbie Lawler faces Jake Ellenberger.
ProMMAnow.com will provide live results and play-by-play commentary starting with the Fight Pass prelims at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT), moving to the FOX Sports 1 prelims at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT), and then the Pay-Per-View main card at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
We will also have a live stream and on-demand replay of the UFC 173 post-fight press conference following tonight’s event.
While you’re waiting for the fights to start, check out our UFC 173 Staff Picks to see our predictions for tonight’s main card action.
UFC 173 quick results:
MAIN CARD (Pay-Per-View – 10 p.m. ET)
- Bantamweight: TJ Dillashaw def. Renan Barao by TKO (strikes) Rd 5 (2:26)
- Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier def. Dan Henderson by technical submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 3 (3:53)
- Welterweight: Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger by TKO (strikes) Rd 3 (3:06)
- Bantamweight: Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x 2)
- Lightweight: James Krause def. Jamie Varner by TKO (injury) Rd 1 (5:00)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1 – 8 p.m. ET)
- Lightweight: Michael Chiesa def. Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision (30-26 x 2, 30-27)
- Lightweight: Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (4:06)
- Bantamweight: Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Lightweight: Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta by technical submission (D’arce Choke) Rd 2 (:57)
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass – 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Lightweight: Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
- Featherweight: Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips by unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
- Welterweight: Li JingLiang def. David Michaud by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
UFC 173 play-by-play:
170 lbs: David Michaud vs. Li JingLiang
Round 1 – Both guys making their UFC debut here. Overhand right and left from Michaud. Another overhand right from Michaud scores. Nice straight right. Leg kick from Li. Nice leg kick from Li but gets tagged with a quick counter punch. Nice jab from Michaud. Nice inside leg kick from Li. Nice jab from Li. Front kick from Michaud. … Counter left from Li. Li gets a body lock from the back, Michaud pulls out and they reset. Nice right left, then another left jab from Li. He gets another body lock from the back but lets it go. Clinch, couple knees from Michaud, he picks Li up for the slam. Li is back up and gets the trip takedown. Li stands over him and kicks the thighs. Michaud goes for a single but Li lays on him inside full guard. PMN sees it 10-9 for Li.
Round 2 – Michaud complained of a hurting foot between rounds. Michaud stalking. Li avoiding his punches at the moment. Nice right from Michaud but gets tagged with a counter. Clinch, Michaud looking for the trip but Li defends. Nice jab from Michaud. Right from Li. Another right. Nice quick left jab from Li. Michaud presses him to the cage. Backs out. Leg kick inside from Li. Nice left jab. Michaud still coming forward. One two from Li. Nice couple lefts from Li follow. Clinch, knees from Michaud. Checks a leg kick. Still moving forward. Clinches up, pushes Li to the cage. Michaud gets the body lock takedown, now in side mount. Li gives up his back. Michaud gets both hooks in and goes for the choke with 30 seconds left. PMN sees it 10-9 for Michaud.
Round 3 – Michaud’s coach tells him to take Li to the ground, don’t stand and trade. Leg kick, jab from Li. Li lands a nice combo and Michaud tries to shoot in, stuffed. Nice elbow from Li. Michaud presses him to the cage. He’s forced to back out. Single leg takedown from Michaud. Li striking off his back. Michaud’s corner thinks Li is lost on the ground. Li with full guard. Michaud postures up with a couple elbows and Li is cut open and bleeding. Hammerfist from Michaud, postures up with two more punches. Li gives up his back while looking for an arm. Li gets to his knees and feet, takes Michaud down, now on top in half guard. 2 minutes left. Nice elbow from Li. Li landing punches, controlling from top. One minute left. Li lands a couple more shots. Michaud postures up, gets to his feet and jumps on a guillotine, Li is out and landing punches from the top. Nice elbow. Passes to side mount with 10 seconds left. Li stands up before the bell and calls Michaud to come up. Time up. PMN sees it 10-9 and 29-28 for Li
OFFICIAL RESULT: Li JingLiang def. David Michaud by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
145 lbs: Sam Sicilia vs. Aaron Phillips
Round 1 – Leg kick Sicilia. Body kick from Phillips. Leg kick from Phillips. Nice body/head combo from Sicilia. Hard body kick from Phillips backs Sicilia up. Lands another. Sicilia backs him to the cage with punches. Body lock from Sicilia, gets the takedown, now on top in half guard. Sicilia dropping short elbows. Postures up with punches. Phillips springs to his feet. Sicilia presses him to the cage. Phillips turns him around, Sicilia lands a knee and backs out. Head kick from Phillips. Sicilia ducks a spinning head kick attempt. Nice body kick from Phillips. Right hand from Sicilia, Phillips counters with a knee to the body that seems to hurt Sicilia. Phillips goes for a guillotine but ends up on bottom after Sicilia pops his head out. Sicilia postures up with punches, eats an up kick. Good match-up and close round. PMN sees the round 10-9 for Phillips.
Round 2 – Sicilia catches a body kick, lands a left, and puts Phillips on his back, landing more punches. Sicilia inside full guard, postures up with a right. Phillips looks for an armbar, gets a reversal and now riding Sicilia’s back, knee to the body, goes for the RNC, but Sicilia spins and has top control, now takes Phillips’ back. Phllips scrambles and ends up on top inside half guard. Phillips working the ground and pound, goes for full mount, Sicilia gives up his back. As Phillips tries to take it, Sicilia reverses and ends up on top inside full guard. Sicilia postures up with punches, passes to side mount. Phillips staying busy from the bottom. Sicilia goes for full mount. Phillips gives up his back. One hook in from Sicilia, looks for the neck crank. Phhillips out, but on bottom with Sicilia inside full guard. Sicilia postures up with a right. PMN sees the round 10-9 for Sicilia.
Round 3 – Phillips’ coach Tim Credeur tells him he’s down two rounds and needs a finish. Whether it’s true or not, it’s good advice. Couple nice right hands from Sicilia as he comes out brawling. Sicilia catches another kick and puts Phillips on his back, takes side mount. Phillips recovers with full guard. Sicilia postures up with big punches. Upkick from Phillips. Sicilia lays on him in side mount, dropping short elbows with 3 minutes to go. Sicilia postures up with nice body shots. Sicilia inside full guard. Phillips trying to make something happen off his back, but Sicilia staying heavy, now in half guard. Phillips springs up to his feet but Sicilia immediately drags him back down against the cage. Phillips gets up once again, Sicilia shoots in, Phillips threatens with a guillotine but Sicilia is out and ends on top. PMN sees the round 10-9 for Sicilia and the fight 29-28 for Sicilia.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips by unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
155 lbs: Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel
Round 1 – Jab and high kick from Njokuani, but he takes a poke in the eye from Pichel. Time is called as Njokuani tries to recover. Bringing the doctor in to look at his left eye. Pichel pushes him to the cage and picks Njokuani for a big slam. Tries to hold him down but Njokuani is able to get to his feet. Pichel pressing him to the cage. They separate and reset. Njokuani with a body kick. Right from Pichel as he clinches up and lands a knee to the body, against the cage. They trade knees and Njokuani takes one low to the groin. First an eye poke, now this. GEEZ!! Time out is called. Touch gloves. Leg kick from Pichel. They trade jabs. Leap in knee from Njokuani. Front kick. Clinch, knees from Njokuani, but Pichel presses him to the cage. Knee and body shot from Pichel. Another body shot. Njokuani circles out, pressing, lands a left hook. They trade punches before the bell. PMN sees the round 10-9 for Pichel.
Round 2 – Touch gloves. Pichel pressing. One two from Njokuani. Nice body kick from Njokuani. Nice right uppercut body punch from Njokuani. Another one. Pichel gets a body lock from the back, landing knees to the back of the thighs, gets a big slam takedown and Pichel is landing big right hands. Njokuani gets to his feet but goes for another big ride. Pichel lands more shots before Njokuani gets back to his feet. Pichel drags his legs away from the cage and gets him on his butt. Njokuani against the cage, gives up his back, and gets to his feet. Pichel landing knees to the body and legs and is all over him. Pichel backs out of a single, shoots back in for a huge slam, lands in side mount and lands some big knees to the body, takes full mount. Njokuani gives up the back. Pichel landing punches and goes for the RNC. Njokuani is able to spin around and get to his feet. Pichel gets another takedown, on top in half guard landing punches, then takes his back before the bell. PMN sees the round 10-9 for Pichel.
Round 3 – Touch gloves. Jab from Njokuani. Leg kick Pichel. Jab from Njokuani. Pichel shoots, stuffed. Njokuani knows he needs to finish to win. Leg kick Pichel. Nice body shot from Njokuani. His timing looks off though. Straight left from Njokuani lands. Leg kick from Pichel, he then scores another takedown. Njokuani gets to his feet, but Pichel hangs on a body lock and lands knees to the legs. He slams Njokuani back to the mat, looks to take his back. Njokuani avoids it and gets to his feet. Pichel hanging on his back, landing knees, drags him back to the mat. He’s landed 9 takedowns so far. Gets full mount. Njokuani gives up his back with just over a minute to go. Pichel landing punches, now on top in side control, landing more punches. Back to full mount. Njokuani gives up his back, gets to his feet and almost goes for another ride. PMN sees it 10-9 and the fight 30-27 for Pichel.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
155 lbs: Al Iaquinta vs. Mitch Clarke
Round 1 – Leg kick from Clarke. Again. Again, inside. Iaquinta catches a front kick and lands a big right that drops Clarke. Iaquinta gets on top in half guard, tying up Clarke’s right arm behind his back. He lets it go, looking to pass. Clarke landing a few elbows off his back. Iaquinta postures up with a couple punches before Clarke locks him down. Iaquinta postures up again, throwing punches, nothing much landing though. Now lands a nice left. Clarke with open guard, eats another left from Iaquinta. Clarke tries holding him tight, Iaquinta postures up with punches, lands a couple nice right hands with one minute to go. Clarke gets to his feet, looking for a single. Iaquinta looking for a front choke that forces Clarke to put his legs on the cage to ease the tension. Iaquinta gets him down before the bell, landing shots. PMN has it 10-9 for Iaquinta.
Round 2 – Clarke catches a kick and tries to get Iaquinta down but ends up on the bottom. Clarke is able to lock up a D’arce in the process though and puts Al Iaquinta to sleep. Beautiful finish!! It is Clarke’s second straight win inside the Octagon after going 0-2 in his first two outings.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta by technical submission (D’arce Choke) Rd 2 (:57)
135 lbs: Chris Holdsworth vs. Chico Camus
Round 1 – Straight right from Camus. Holdsworth with a big height advantage at 5’11”. Another right hand from Camus scores. Camus gets clipped with a left after missing with a couple big hooks, and briefly falls on his butt. Back up and back at it. Clinch, and knees from Holdsworth. He pushes Camus to the cage, eventually gets Camus on his back and takes full mount. Camus using butterfly guard. Holdsworth moves to half guard. Holdsworth landing a few punches although Camus blocking most. Camus recovers full guard. Holdsworth stands over him looking for the big punch. Time. PMN sees it 10-9 for Holdsworth.
Round 2 – Jab from Camus. Step in knee from Holdsworth to the body. Right hand, leg kick from Camus. Nice left jab, left hook from Holdsworth. Right hand from Camus. Holdsworth shoots in, pressing Camus to the cage. Camus almost muscles him down, but Holdsworth defends and puts Camus on his back. Full mount from Holdsworth. Trying to set up an armbar, now tries for an arm triangle but Camus springs to his feet. Holdsworth drags him down and takes full mount again. Holdswoth sits up with punches. Holdswoth landing left hands while holding Camus around the neck with his right. Holdsworth in complete control here. Camus gives up his back and Holdsworth locks up a body triangle and is looking for the RNC. PMN sees it 10-9 for Holdsworth.
Round 3 – Left hook, step in knee from Holdsworth. Nice left jab from Camus. He lands two big rights next. Jab from Holdsworth. Holdsworth times a sweet takedown. Now inside full guard. Holdsworth on top in half guard, trying to pass. Pat Barry is in Camus’ corner, by the way. Holdsworth moves to side control, knee to belly… now half guard. He postures up with a right, then stays heavy on Camus with ground and pound. Camus in pure defense mode. Holdsworth has his back with both hooks in and is looking for the choke. Body triangle now from Holdsworth. One minute to go. Back to full mount for Holdsworth, looking for an arm triangle. He postures up before the bell, back to side mount. PMN sees it 10-9 and 30-27 for Holdsworth. Holdsworth was part of Team Tate on TUF 18 and won the season. He is now 2-0 in the UFC.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
155 lbs: Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Round 1 – Overhand right from Kikuno. Jump high kick from Ferguson, but Kikuno tees off with a nice punch combo. Left hook, front kick. Left from Ferguson. Body kick from Ferguson. Nice left jab from Ferguson, again, then a leg kick. Nice left, right from Ferguson backs Kikuno up. Ferguson lands another one two and Kikuno is hurt and on his bike. Kikuno’s hands are straight down. Lands a jab of his own. Big right from Ferguson, big left straight. Kikuno gets some distance, eats a right hook. Ferguson pushes him to the cage. Jab from Ferguson. He tries to roll for a leglock. Kikuno avoids. Jab from Ferguson, then a big right, he chases Kikuno down, and picks him up for a big slam, takes his back with both hooks in, switches to an armbar attempt. Scramble, and Ferguson locks up a D’arce. 1:22 left in the round. Kikuno survives and is back on his feet. Hands down, Kikuno on the run. Ferguson lands a huge right that sends Kikuno timbering flat on his back and this fight is over. Keep your hands up dude! WTF? Who fights like that, especially in the UFC?
OFFICIAL RESULT: Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno by TKO (punches) Rd 1 (4:06)
155 lbs: Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Round 1 – Height and reach advantage for Chiesa. Chiesa shoots from the outside but gets nowhere close. Lots of feeling out bring some boos. Body kick from Chiesa. He shoots in, gets the clinch, nice knee from Trinaldo backs Chiesa up. Chiesa motions like it was low. Chiesa shoots in, stuffed. Nice overhand right from Chiesa, clinches up and gets Trinaldo down. Chiesa traps Trinaldo’s arm behind him against the cage and is landing right hands. Chiesa in full mount. Landing elbows. Trinaldo with his feet on the cage and tries to push off but he’s eating punch after punch from Chiesa. Elbows from Chiesa as Trinaldo covers up. Chiesa continues the assault with 40 seconds left. He’s been beating him up constantly for over a minute now. And finishes the round on top doing damage. PMN sees it 10-8 for Chiesa.
Round 2 – Trinaldo rushes to the center. Trinaldo lands a left as Chiesa tries to shoot in. Left from Chiesa, knee to the body from Trinaldo. Big right from Trinaldo seems to stun Chiesa, he then jumps on Chiesa’s neck with a guillotine, with full guard. Chiesa survives, pops his head out and is now on top inside full guard. Chiesa with an elbow. Trinaldo looking for the sweep, looking for an inside heel hook. Chiesa counters and ends up on top in half guard. Chiesa landing elbows from the top, trapping Trinaldo’s right arm between his legs. Scramble, Chiesa back on top in half guard dropping shots. Gets Trinaldo in a crucifix before the bell and lands a couple more elbows. PMN sees it 10-9 for Chiesa.
Round 3 – Nice left from Trinaldo. Overhand left from Trinaldo. Clinch, and Chiesa takes a low blow from a knee. Referee Herb Dean calls time, but Chiesa doesn’t want to give him anymore time to rest up. Left hook counter from Trinaldo. Jab from Chiesa. Chiesa with an easy takedown, now inside full guard. Chiesa staying busy enough not to get stood up. Trinaldo goes for an armbar and has Chiesa in some real danger. 48 seconds left. Chiesa stays calm and is able to get free. Chiesa goes back to working from inside full guard. PMN sees it 10-9 and 30-26 for Chiesa.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Michael Chiesa def. Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision (30-26 x 2, 30-27)
155 lbs: Jamie Varner vs. James Krause
Round 1 – Touch gloves. Jab from Krause. Leg kick. Again. Varner circles. Varner checks a kick, overhand right from Krause. Front kick to the face and a one two from Krause. Varner seems to be hurt/injured, he looks down as he’s backing up and Krause pounces, takes his back. Varner gets back up, but something is wrong with his left foot. He tries to stay in this fight. Krause kicks his left leg. Varner shoots, stuffed, and ends up on his back. Krause on top inside half guard. Krause drops an elbow. Varner is able to sweep and ends up in side mount. Varner lands some nice right hands and Krause is cut. Krause gets to his feet and Varner meets him there, and they start slugging it out. Varner’s foot eventually gives out and he’s back down, still trying to stay in this fight. Krause eventually lets him up. Krause kicks the leg, Varner tries to take a step forward but falls flat. Krause finishes the round in the dominant position. After the bell Varner says he’s unable to continue due to a broken ankle. Replay shows it apparently came from a kick that he tried to check.
OFFICIAL RESULT: James Krause def. Jamie Varner by TKO (injury) Rd 1 (5:00)
135 lbs: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera
Round 1 – Left hook from Rivera stuns Mizugaki. Straight right from Mizugaki. Mizugaki shoots, stuffed. Leg kick from Mizugaki. Uppercut to the body from Rivera. Right hook from Mizugaki, he hurts Rivera with more punches and Rivera goes down. Mizugaki pounces, gets tied up by Rivera with half guard. Mizugaki postures up with a right, a left and more. Rivera springs to his feet. Mizugaki pressing him to the cage with underhooks. Rivera with a knee to the body and body lock takedown, but Mizugaki right back up. Leg kick from Rivera, Mizugaki counters with a one two. Clinch, Rivera presses him to the cage. Lands a couple knees. Mizugaki turns him around. Rivera gets a trip takedown and they slug it out on their knees until the bell. PMN sees it 10-9 for Mizugaki.
Round 2 – Leg kick from Rivera. Uppercut from Mizugaki. Rivera fires back. They reset. Rivera goes for a question mark kick, but gets countered with a punch from Mizugaki. Now they start swinging it out in the pocket, both landing big punches. Mizugaki cut over his left eye. Great head movement from Mizugaki. He gets a takedown, right back up though and Rivera jumps on a guillotine, from half guard. Mizugaki going to survive though and is now on top. Nice right from Mizugaki. Mizugaki takes his back, looking for the choke. Only 15 seconds left. 10-9 for Mizugaki.
Round 3 – Body kick from Rivera. Jab from Mizugaki. Right from Rivera, counter right from Mizugaki. They trade rights again. Rivera lands a body kick but eats a straight right that drops him. Mizugaki on top inside full guard. Ref stands them up after some time. With under a minute to go they go into slugfest mode in the pocket, both landing. They reset, Mizugaki fakes the takedown, lands a right. Cisco with a left hook, lands a right. Mizugaki firing right back as they slug it out one last time. PMN sees it 10-9 and 30-27 all for Mizugaki.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x 2)
170 lbs: Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger
Round 1 – High kick from Lawler, blocked, again. But it knocks Ellenberger backward. Big body kick from Lawler. High kick again from Lawler. Counter left from Lawler. One two from Lawler. High kick again, blocked. Ellenberger comes in with a one two and Lawler fires back, all shots just missing. Clinch and knee to the body from Lawler. Jab from Lawler. Nice right from Ellenberger. Left hook from Ellenberger blocked. Jab from Lawler, nice left straight. Right, left from Ellenberger. Nice right to the body from Ellenberger, nice lead left hook. PMN sees it 10-9 for Lawler.
Round 2 – Right hook from Ellenberger. Jab, head kick attempt from Lawler. Lawler tags him with a couple shots but also gets tagged in return. Clinch, knee to body from Lawler. Lawler putting on the pressure now, Ellenberger circling. Ellenberger gets a bodylock from behind. Lands a kick on the break. They reset. Right counter from Ellenberger. Left counter from Lawler. he lands another straight left. Quick right from Ellenberger. Couple lefts from Lawler, then a one two. Lawler unloads a heavy combo. Ellenberger scoots out of there, gets a clinch and drags Lawler down. Lawler laughs and scrambles to his feet. Big knee to the body from Lawler and Ellenberger doubles over on his knees. Lawler spins to his back and lands some big punches. Ellenberger facing him now on his knees, gets up but eats some shots. Ellenberger fires back and puts Lawler on his back with under a minute to go. Lawler ties him up in full guard. Lawler easily gets up, clinch, Ellenberger backs out after Lawler looks for his own takedown. Lawler with a body kick and right hand. Presses Ellenberger to the cage. PMN sees it 10-9 for Lawler.
Round 3 – Ellenberger’s corner tells him he needs to dig deep to win this fight. Knee to the body from Lawler. Ellenberger comes in swinging for the fences, literally, lands a big right. Lawler has a helluva chin. Lawler firing back, lands a right. Jab from Lawler backs Ellenberger up. Jab from Ellenberger, clinch, he backs out. Jab from Lawler. Seems Ellenberger broke his hand on that big punch. Nice body kick from Ellenberger. Right from Ellenberger. Left from Lawler, another. Stiff jab backs Ellenberger up. Lawler smashes him with a knee, catching him as he ducks down. Ellenberger goes down and Lawler finishes him off.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger by TKO (strikes) Rd 3 (3:06)
205 lbs: Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson
Round 1 – Leg kick from Hendo. Clinch, Cormier trips him easily with a big throw. Cormier showing his power there. Now in side mount. Hendo holding him in a cradle position. Cormier tries slamming his way out. Cormier out and working some ground and pound. Hendo caught in a crucifix briefly. Cormier staying heavy on top, now in half guard. Drops an elbow, body shot. Cormier almost gets full mount, drops an elbow. Cormier in full mount now, lands some shots, but Hendo recovers half guard. Body shots from Cormier. Hendo with an upkcik. Hendro gets to his knees as Cormier fires off right hands. Hendo rolls back to his back. Hendo goes for a leglock, this allows him to get to his feet. They square up. Front kick from Cormier. Clinch against the cage. Cormier stuffs a takdown attempt. Knee from Hendo on the break as the bell sounds. PMN has it 10-9 for Cormier.
Round 2 – Right from Hendo backs Cormier up. Cormier shoots for a single and puts Hendo on his back. Cormier in side mount, looks for an armlock, Hendo pulls free but eats some punches. Elbow from Cormier, knee to belly. Hendo gets to his knees. Couple big rights from Cormier forces a scramble. Cormier puts him on his back again, has side control. Body shot, and punches to the head from Cormier as he smothers Hendo. Full mount now. Half guard, ground and pound from Cormier. Looking for the crucifix position. The last time I saw Hendo dominated like this on the ground was by Jake Shields in Strikeforce in Nashville. Saw it live. That’s one reason I picked Cormier to beat Hendo, because of his tremendous wrestling. This is the same way Shields beat him, but with less ground and pound. More of the same until the end of the round. PMN sees it 10-9 for Cormier. Crowd boos.
Round 3 – Hendo’s corner tells him he has to go fight him now. Uh, that’s kind of hard when you can’t even move off your back. He was trying to fight him and got put down. Leg kick inside from Hendo. Front kick and a high kick from Cormier. He picks Hendo up over his head for a HUGE slam, WWE style! WTF? That looked crazy. Cormier now on top in half guard, back to the ground and pound. Cormier moves to full mount. Landing punches. Hendo scrambles to his knees. Cormier staying on him with constant punishment. Hendo still on his knees as Cormier continues with punches, he looks at the clock. Cormier takes his back, locks up the choke and puts Hendo to sleep. Just like that. Wow!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Daniel Cormier def. Dan Henderson by technical submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 3 (3:53)
135 lbs: Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw
Round 1 – Touch gloves. Nice leg kick from Dillashaw as he dances around the outside. Uppercut from TJ. Leg kick. Barao stalking. Right from TJ. Jab from Barao. Head kick attempt from TJ, leg kick. Leg kick from TJ. Nice big uppercut from TJ. Leg kick. Body kick from Barao. Nice left from TJ. Nice leg kick from TJ but he eats a counter right that snaps his head back. Leg kick from TJ. Right counter from TJ. Barao cant find him with his strikes so far. He’s winning this round. Leg kick from TJ. Big overhand right from TJ knocks Barao down. TJ hops on him with punches as Barao goes for a leglock. TJ gets free and postures over him landing shots. Barao gives up his back with 30 seconds left. TJ looking for the neck crank, Barao scrambles to his feet. Barao tries firing back before the bell. PMN sees it 10-9 for Dillashaw.
Round 2 – Barao’s corner tells him not to trade punches with Dillashaw. Whoah! Barao looks very worried. Left connects for Barao. Dillashaw knows he’s still foggy and is coming in swinging. Barao catches him with a knee to the body. TJ resets. Inside leg kick from Barao. Right from Barao. Both guys connect with punches. They trade leg kicks. TJ’s footwork looking like Dominic Cruz tonight, but more effective. TJ is getting right in the pocket with Barao and swinging for the fences. TJ goes for the takedown, almost has it, But Barao defends the takedown and a guillotine. Barao lands a kick to the groin and time out is called. TJ cut on the right side by his eye. Body kick from TJ. Right from Barao. Right from TJ catches him behind the head. A Right snaps Barao’s head back. Another right. They trade leg kicks. TJ’s hands are VERY quick. Inside leg kick from TJ. Nice combo from Barao. Body kick from TJ. Left hook to the body fro TJ, right, left, and more combos from TJ before the bell. Looking absolutely amazing. PMN sees it 10-9 for TJ Dillashaw.
Round 3 – Barao catches TJ with a one two coming in. Leg kick from TJ. Nice right from TJ. Leg kick from Barao. Body kick from TJ. Left jab from Barao. Leg kick from TJ. Counter jab from Barao. Head kick and a one two from Barao. Another one two, snapping Barao’s head around. Leg kick from TJ. Body kick from Barao. Leap in jab from TJ, then a leg kick. Right hook. His combos are on point. Tj lands another head kick. Quick jabs from TJ finding their mark. Barao ducks right into a straight left. TJ making Barao miss. Barao motions to Herb Dean there’s blood in his eye, but TJ lights him up with a combo and presses him to the cage. PMN sees it 10-9 for Dillashaw.
Round 4 – Dillashaw shoots, stuffed. Nice left from TJ. Right from Barao, TJ fires back, lands a big body kick. Elbow from Barao, but every time he scores, TJ comes back with something much stronger. Jab from Barao. Two right hooks from TJ, Barao fires back and TJ is right in his face. Nice three punch combo from TJ snapping Barao’s head. TJ pressures him against the cage. Elbow, right hands in the clinch. Knees to the thighs. Knee to the body. Barao backs out, lands a left. TJ trips Barao up as he throws a spin kick. Now on top after letting go of a guillotine attempt. Barao goes for a leglock. TJ pulls out and is on top in half guard. TJ dropping elbows; right then left. PMN has it 10-9 for Dillashaw.
Round 5 – TJ with a leg kick. Using his footwork, body kick. Hook to the body from Barao. Body kick from TJ after Barao misses a spin kick. Two jabs and a head kick, leg kick from TJ. Just teeing off on Barao. Body kick from TJ. Lead right hook, right jab from TJ. More right jabs from TJ, he lands a head kick and drops Barao with a straight left, TJ finishes him off with big right hands as Barao can only try to cover up from the punishment. Duane Ludwig hugs him, crying. TJ Dillashaw rose to the occasion like we’ve never seen a fighter do before. He finally got the belt for Team Alpha Male.
OFFICIAL RESULT: TJ Dillashaw def. Renan Barao by TKO (strikes) Rd 5 (2:26)
Joe Rogan said, “That was the best performance I’ve ever seen in my life.”