UFC 177 Preview

ufc_177The UFC has had an interesting year in 2014 as upsets have been the highlight of fights so far this year. No upset was bigger than when Renan Barao lost grip of his Bantamweight Title that everyone believed he would hold until he faced a returning Dominick Cruz. Cruz was the former champion that had yet to be beat in a title fight. A torn ACL and a number of setbacks have kept Cruz out of the octagon for almost three years. The extended absence caused the title to be vacated and the interim champion, Barao, fought for the right to be named the undisputed champion of the Bantamweight Division. He won that fight against Urijah Faber and became the undisputed champion that many considered to be unbeatable. Most people were just waiting for Cruz to return and take on Barao in a matchup of two champions that could have finally proven the true champion of the Bantamweight division. Until then Barao had to continue to take on all challengers in the division and wait until Cruz came back. Then came TJ Dillashaw, a teammate of Urijah Faber, to essentially give Barao some more octagon time. That is how it was built at least as Dillashaw was not expected to come close to winning with Barao representing a powerful champion and Dillashaw the “over his head” challenger. The only problem was that somebody forgot to tell Dillashaw about his role in the fight and instead of coming out as a sparring partner for Barao he put together the best fight of his career. Dillashaw was as close to perfect as a fighter can get and Barao was not ready to fight at that level. The result was a finish by Dillashaw in the 5th round that marked the biggest upset of the year and one of the biggest in the history of the UFC. With such a great champion going down there was no question that a rematch was in the works to give Barao a chance to win his belt back. That fight was scheduled for UFC 177 where Dillashaw will defend his belt for the first time against the former champion. Dillashaw showed everyone that he was deserving of a title shot when he beat Barao and he did it with a balanced attack. His wrestling background helped but it was his new-found striking ability that helped him to the win. With Duane Ludwig in his camp at the time Dillashaw had found the ability to stand and trade and create some damage against opponents. Although Ludwig is no longer a part of Team Alpha Male but Dillashaw will keep him as a part of his training in hopes to repeat the performance that won him the belt. Meanwhile Barao was forced to go back and recover after taking a beating and is sure to return with a new focus that will make him a more dangerous fighter. A member of Nova Uniao in Brazil Barao has some of the most talented trainers and training partners to prepare and will come with the signature leg kicks and BJJ that the gym is known for. Don’t expect Barao to come out like he did in the first fight as he will expect a tough fight this time and will give Dillashaw a much bigger challenge. It will be a tough thing for Dillashaw to repeat the performance he had last time but with more confidence after winning the title he is sure to come out at about the same level. It is not going to be the same fight as last time as Barao seemed to buy in to his own hype last time and will not make the same mistake twice as he will come in better than the last time these two faced off to earn a unanimous decision win and launch a trilogy in the bantamweight division.

In a night when Barao gets a second chance to win his title back one fighter will get her first chance to prove she is one of the best in women’s MMA> Coming into The Ultimate Fighter 18 Shayna Baszler was considered an early favourite to win the entire show. She was the most experience and successful fighter out of the women’s bantamweights on the show and everyone expected her to do well. It did not pan out though as Baszler lost in her first fight on the show to the eventual winner Juliana Pena. It was a disappointing finish for Baszler who could not match the hype that surrounded her when she entered the show. She received a second chance though and will now look for her long-awaited debut in the UFC at UFC 177. After two cancelled bouts and plenty of time in other promotions Baszler makes her way to MMA’s top promotion to take on a young and hungry fighter. Bethe Correia has looked great in her first two UFC fight and has yet to lose in her MMA career. She is on the fast track to a title shot and sees Baszler as a chance to show that she is at the level of some of the top challengers in the division. Beating a trailblazer like Baszler will do wonders for Correia’s career and could put her in title contention as she sprints towards Ronda Rousey. Meanwhile Baszler is hoping to extend her career and begin her own run up the ladder towards teammate Ronda Rousey and the women’s title. IT wil also be a matchup of new school for old school as Baszler is a submission specialist while Correia is an all-around fighter. Baszler came up through the beginnings of women’s fighting where one aspect of fighting was good enough to beat anyone especially if you were very good at that one thing. Correia is the new breed of fighter that is trained in everything and is comfortable everywhere. It is a good matchup between two fighters with plenty to prove as these two women face-off at UFC 177.


Fight Card:

Main Event:
TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan “The Baron” Barão [Bantamweight Title] (Pay-per-View)

Main Card:
Danny “Last Call” Castillo vs. Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (Pay-per-View)

Bethe “Pitbull” Correia vs. Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Bazler (Pay-per-View)

Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (Pay-per-View)

Yancy “The Kid” Medeiros vs. Damon “The Leech” Jackson (Pay-per-View)

Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton vs. Ruan “Fangs” Potts (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Joe “One Bad Mofo”Soto vs. Anthony Birchak (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Cain Carrizosa vs. Chris Wade (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

One Response to “UFC 177 Preview”
  1. The main event has changed. Renan Barao reportedly passed out while cutting weight and has dropped out of the fight. Joe Soto will replace Barao against T.J. Dillashaw.

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