New Eras Begin in Chicago (UFC on FOX 16 Review)

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Two new eras in two divisions were set to start in front of a national audience on FOX this Saturday.

The UFC returned to the big network with two fights that were going to go a long way in determining the future of two divisions.

First up was a fight in the Bantamweight division but it was not necessarily a fight that many saw as a division changer.

After all the title fight is only a week away and that will be the most important fight until the next title fight.

Still the matchup between Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye was always going to determine the future of the division.

All because of where Miesha Tate is in her career as she continues to be one of the best fighters in the women’s bantamweight division.

Yet despite being a great fighter she cannot get past her biggest rival, Ronda Rousey, who continues to mow through contenders like nothing.

So Tate is in a weird place after three fights against Rousey, all unsuccessful, as it seems clear that Rousey is just better and yet few fighters can beat Tate.

She was set to begin a new phase of her career, although not one that many fighters want to be in.

She was set to begin the gatekeeper role in the division as a fighter who is one of the best in the division and yet must do a lot more to earn a title shot.

As she stepped into the octagon against Jessica Eye this new era was set to begin as she looked to be the fighter that all challengers were to be measured against.

In short if they can’t beat Tate they don’t belong in the title conversation alongside Rousey.

It wasn’t an easy task for Tate as Eye presented plenty of challenges with great striking that was going to test the striking ability of the wrestling based Tate.

Eye came out quickly to an early lead in landing plenty of shots against Tate but Tate came back just as quickly.

Tate had Eye hurt plenty of times in the fight and was on top looking to do damage and to win by submission in all three rounds.

The great showing by Tate was enough to begin the new era of her career as she hopes to eventually get another title shot but likely will need to play gatekeeper for a while before that can happen.

Another era was set to begin at UFC on FOX 16 when T.J. Dillashaw looked to truly begin his reign as a champion.

For the Team Alpha Male product the reign as champion was never going to begin until he could shake the doubt surrounding him and Renan Barão.mma-sidebar.fw

Dillashaw had shocked the world last year when he beat a fighter that many though was not going to be beat for a long time.

That shock also led to many wondering if his win against Barão was just a fluke or if he was truly better than the Brazilian.

That answer was supposed to come just three weeks after the original fight but injuries to Barão and Dillashaw delayed the fight until a new year.

It came down to UFC on FOX when Dillashaw tried to prove to everyone that he is a champion while Barão tried to show everyone that Dillashaw got lucky and caught him on a bad day.

In the first fight between these two, Dillashaw was impressive in using his speed and boxing to pick at Barão and eventually earning the fifth round TKO.

With a new matchup Barão was hoping to shut down Dillashaw’s striking game while Dillashaw was simply looking to repeat his performance.

It was the champion that got his wish as Barão simply looked outmatched on the feet, unable to deal with the speed of Dillashaw.

This time Dillashaw put little doubt in the minds of everyone as he absolutely picked apart Barão on the feet who showed that he has no answer for the stand-up of the champ.

In the fourth round Dillashaw ended the punishment earning a TKO win for the second time and continuing his time as the bantamweight champion.

Barão was supposed to be the bantamweight dominant champion but seems clearly outmatched at the top.

He will go back to the drawing board and try to work his way back to a title shot where he can try to earn his title back.

Dillashaw can now officially begin his reign as UFC bantamweight champion and could take on another reason for doubt in Dominick Cruz.

Cruz never lost the belt as injuries kept him out of action forcing the UFC to strip the belt.

When he returns it will likely be for the title as Dillashaw will need to once again prove that he belongs at the top by beating another champion.

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