100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (24 Total):
1. Tony Ferguson - 94.2
2. T.J. Dillashaw - 93.7
3. Michael Chiesa - 93.5
4. Daniel Cormier - 92.8
5. Sam Sicilia - 92.4
6. Robbie Lawler - 92.3
7. Vinc Pichel - 92.3
8. Mitch Clarke - 91.8
9. Takeya Mizugaki - 91.2
10. Chris Holdsworth - 91.0
UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Elevation: 2,001'
-Fight of the Night-
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
Fighters & Matches 89.9
Top 10 Fighters 92.5
TOTAL 91.2
     This was a really good debut by two guys I've never heard of. It was an EXTREMELY close fight, with Michaud SLAMMING Li hard in the first round, and then Li was able to reverse it, and get on top. They both beat the crap out of each other. Very similar striking skills, very similar grappling skills. Li seemed to be the slightly better striker, Michaud the slightly better grappler. I gave the first round to Li, the second round could have gone either way, but I went with Li, and I gave the third round to Michaud, but it was really close as well. So in the end, I gave the fight to Li, 29-28, and two of the judges agreed with me. The decision came down to the final 15 seconds or so, it could have been either guy's fight, but Li ended up looking better at the VERY end.
      This was another solid undercard fight featuring a new fighter. I'm really starting to like Sam Sicilia a lot, most of his UFC fights end up being pretty good, with his aggressive striking techniques, and his ability to go to the ground and brawl. Phillips had a few moments in this fight, where he showed some decent striking, and he has a decent ground game as well, but ultimately, Sicilia was way too much for him, and I gave all 3 rounds to Sicilia, and for the most part, the judges agreed with me.
      Pichel approached this fight like he was looking for vindication for the Rustam Khabilov ass kicking he received a couple of fights ago. In the first round, he poked Njokuani in the eye, and then hit him in the nuts a couple of times with big knees. (But even without the fouls, Pichel clearly won that round). The second round was all about Pichel, launching Njokuani around the ring with a nice suplex, a couple of slams, and some serious ground & pound, hammering away at Njokuani's face with his fists. The third round capped it all off with some more takedowns, and some nice striking by Pichel. I really thought Njokuani would walk right through Pichel, but Pichel FUCKING DESTROYED him for 15 minutes in this fight. Pretty amazing performance by Vinc Pichel, and as far as I'm concerned, this 100% makes up for his poor performance against Rustam Khabilov.
Technical Submission
(Brabo Choke)
      OH SHIT! I didn't see that shit coming at all. Iaquinta pretty much dominated Clarke in the first round, taking him down, and absolutely dominating him on the ground, with punches, and high level grappling skills. Iaquinta threw a kick early in the second round, Clarke caught it, went for a takedown, Iaquinta reversed it and got on top, and then somehow, out of nowhere, Clarke locked on an amazing Brabo choke, forcing Iaquinta to FALL ASLEEP, ending the fight via technical submission. Fucking amazing comeback, and slick win by Mitch Clarke.
      At the very start of this fight, Chico Camus looked pretty good, landing some solid punches, BUT THEN... Chris Holdsworth took him down for the remainder of the fight, spending almost the entire fight on the ground, with Holdsworth either on top, or on Chico's back, he literally landed 200x's the number of strikes that Chico landed throughout the fight, he went for submissions, Holdsworth basically just beat the living shit out of Camus. Horrible luck for Camus, and awesome performance by Holdsworth.
      This fight was pretty good. Kikuno looked STRONG (and weird, with his stance) at the start of the fight, so he was plowing forward like a tank, and looked like he was ready to kill Ferguson, but Ferguson was able to land some great punches with his slick boxing skills, and eventually he started chasing Kikuno as he was running away, and Ferguson SLAMMED him, beat him up, locked on some submissions, Kikuno escaped, and then Ferguson knocked him the fuck out. Tony Ferguson looked really good in this fight, and Kikuno looked like he needed to work on his stance, because "chin up in the air" isn't the way you fight a striker like Ferguson.
      This fight went just about the same way that most Chiesa fights seem to go. Trinaldo beat his ass early in the first round, something snapped, and then Chiesa spent the rest of the fight taking Trinaldo to the ground and fucking SMASHING his face in, with big punches & elbows, landing 100+ more strikes than Trinaldo was able to land. Michael Chiesa is blossoming into quite a badass!
(Ankle Injury)
      Oh damn... That's a shame... This fight should have been pretty good, but for the most part, it was basically Krause beating up Varner "sort of" for most of the fight. The real kicker (no pun intended) though, is that Varner broke his ankle in the first minute of the fight, and continued to fight on a broken ankle for 4 minutes, and it was hard to watch, because he kept collapsing, tripping, his leg was flopping around wildly, it was bizarre, and I was absolutely shocked that the referee didn't stop the fight. Varner told them his ankle was broken at the end of the first round though, so the fight was stopped. Kudos to him for having the heart to fight through it, but that was hard to watch.
      This was a pretty huge fight, other than the main event, possibly the most important fight on this card. I had both of these guys right up there in the Top 5 in the division going into this fight, so in my opinion, this one basically comes down to "the winner gets a title shot" kind of scenario. With that being said, Rivera looked pretty solid at the start of the fight, but Mizugaki started to pick him apart, winning the first round. The second round I thought went to Rivera pretty easily, and then the third round went back to Mizugaki. Both guys fought their asses off, and had their moments, but I thought this fight clearly went to Mizugaki, and all 3 judges agreed. Really great fight, and congrats to Mizugaki for his now, 5-fight winning streak.
(Knee & Punches)
      Well, that fight pretty much went as expected. Both guys threw a lot of strikes, Lawler seemed to be more aggressive, he clearly won the first two rounds, Ellenberger came out in the third throwing bombs, but eventually slowed down enough for Lawler to land a big knee to the head, and then he finished him off with a series of punches on the ground. Robbie Lawler looked really solid in this fight, and it was a pretty big win against a tough guy like Ellenberger.
Technical Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      No offense, but can someone PLEASE tell Dan Henderson it's time to retire? I mean, I'll admit, Cormier is tough, so it's not like Henderson got beat by a chump, but COME ON. Cormier threw him around like a ragdoll for the entire duration of the fight, smashed the shit out of him with big punches, and then eventually choked him unconscious with a rear-naked choke. Henderson had NO offense in this fight. He said after the fight that he's not done, and still wants to compete, so I really hope if he continues to fight, he drops back down to 185 and stays there. He has NO BUSINESS fighting at 205 at this stage in his career. With that being said though, Cormier looked like a beast. I don't REALLY want to see him fight Jon Jones, but I guess if that means I get to see Cormier finally get his ass kicked, then I'm down! Let's make it happen!
(Head Kick & Punches)
      HOLY SHIT! Renan Barao is one of the best fighters on the planet, pound for pound, and he got FUCKING DOMINATED in all 5 rounds by T.J. Dillashaw, and after showing INSANE striking skills, and excellent grappling skills, T.J. Dillashaw finally decided to seal the deal in the fifth round, with a big kick to the head, followed by a series of punches, putting Barao on the ground and finishing the fight. T.J. Dillashaw looked fucking outstanding in this fight. Awesome fight overall! Great main event!