TJ Dillashaw stopped late replacement Joe Soto with a headkick in the 5th round to defend his UFC bantamweight title Saturday night at UFC 177 in Sacramento, California.
Dillashaw, who was originally supposed to fight former champion Renan Barao, used constant motion, peppering Soto with jabs, strikes, legkicks and takedowns.
Soto had only 24 hours notice to prepare, but was game and landed his best shots in the first round, backing up the champion with jabs and strikes. But he could not take him down and ended up gassed and valiantly eating a steady assortment of strikes.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
YANCY MEDEIROS VS “THE LEETCH” DAMON JACKSON
WINNER: YANCY MEDERIOS VIA 2ND RD SUBMISSION
PREDICTION: YANCY MEDIERIOS VIA TKO.
Andrews: Yancy was the crisper fighter from the get-go, then clamped on a reverse-guillotine choke, that even Joe Rogan can’t even remember seeing. Impressive stuff.
Wiseman: Jackson didn’t make this his fight at all. Medeiros showed off great standup with his knees and combinations from all angles. Jackson didn’t know how to defend, so he would try to turn things into a grind which Medeiros was always able to prevent. In the end, Medeiros was able to squeeze in a guillotine choke for the finish in the second round. A dominate performance by Medeiros.
RAMSEY NIJEM VS DIEGO FERREIRA
WINNER: DIEGO FERREIRA VIA TKO
PREDICTION: DIEGO FERREIRA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Andrews: I predicted Ferriera to win, but I did not see him out-striking Nijem like he did! Somewhere, Damien Maia is smiling.
Wiseman: While it was the Nijem show from the start of the fight when he started with a perfectly timed combination, Ferreira showed some good offence in the first round. In the second round, it was Ferreira who connected first and swarmed over Nijem for the TKO finish. Both fighters showed their aggression, it was just Ferreira who connected with more power to get the win. Good performance by both fighters.
#10 “PITBULL” BETH CORREIA VS “THE QUEEN OF SPADES” SHAYNA BASZIER
WINNER: BETHE CORREIA VIA TKO.
PREDICTION: BETHE CORREIA VIA SPLIT-DECISION.
Andrews: After surviving a few clinch and takedown attempts, Correira bullied Baszler and this time got the finish. She showed that you need good movement and footwork if you want to stand with her.
Wiseman: Baszler came out feeling form comfortable in the first round, but wow, what a second round. Correia came out with incredible body shots against the cage. After flurry upon flurry, it was a left liver shot that dropped Baszler to end the fight by TKO in the second round. Correia claims she wanted to send a message to Rousey. Well, considering Baszler is one of Rousey’s girls, Correia is poking the bear.
“EL CUCUY” TONY FERGUSON VS “LAST CALL” DANNY CASTILLO
Opponents Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo face off during the UFC 177 weigh-in at Sleep Train Arena on August 29, 2014 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
WINNER: TONY FERGUSON VIA SPLIT-DECISION
PREDICTION: DANNY CASTILLO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: “I controlled him man. If he were in jail, he’d be in trouble.” Castillo needs to realize though that he needs to do more than that. He has to look no further than Alpha Male leader Urijah Faber. A little more care mounting some offence in top position and he would be the winner. Ferguson was the busier fighter and he inflicted the damaging blows of the fight. I agree with the judges decision, despite predicting Last Call would win.
Wiseman: It came down to the powerful leg kicks and forward movement by Ferguson in this match. Castillo wasn’t able to get the timing down and he ate more when he tried to put combinations together. It was a great fight, but Ferguson got in the pocket, used his angles to always be the fighter winning in each exchange. Castillo was always an inch away from him or search for where he went. Being unable to take Ferguson down really threw him for a loop as well, but ultimately Ferguson looked like the more evolved fighter even though it was a close call with a split decision.
TJ DILLASHAW VS “ONE BAD MOFO” JOE SOTO
WINNER: TJ DILLASHAW VIA 5TH RD TKO
PREDICTION: TJ DILLASHAW VIA TKO
Andrews: Well, it was predictable. I was hoping for a Diego Sanchez type performance from Soto, but TJ methodically took the starch out of him, piling up the points with jabs, legkicks and even takedowns. That set up the headkick finish. Soto’s best round was the first, where he went toe-to-toe and landed a lot of shots that backed up Dillashaw. He landed fewer strikes with each round, but nearly took all that TJ could dish out.
Wiseman: While there was a late attempt at trying to make Soto seem like a real challenge for Dillashaw, who really expected him to win? Dillashaw with his speed, combinations, and angles is just at a different level in the division right now. The way he moves around his opponents and shoots in randomly somewhat reminds me of Dominick Cruz before his injury. Soto did put things together to even things out in the first round, but realistically, Dillashaw is just too much for him. Give Soto praise for stepping up, thanks to him we had a main event, but he isn’t ready for that level in the UFC yet. Another dominant performance by Dillashaw, ending it in the 5th round with a head kick for the KO finish.