T.J. Dillashaw (11-2) is set to defend his Bantamweight championship against Renan Barao tonight in the main event of UFC on Fox 16. He expects it to be a tough fight, but doesn’t plan to outdo his last performance when they met come Saturday night.
“You don’t try. That’s way too much pressure to go out there and try to top a perfect performance,” Dillashaw told FOX Sports. “I’m just going out there to win, however, I do it. Whether I flash knock him out this time, catch him in a submission, whatever it is. I know I’m going to win, it’s just a matter of how I do it.
“All that matters is just win. If it turns out to be something pretty, that’s awesome. I try to be an entertaining fighter, but most importantly is getting the victory.”
Dillashaw made it clear that he’ll beat Barao, but will also move him out of the division.
“The way I see it, I’m going to beat him and he’s going to have to move up a weight class,” Dillashaw said. “Watching his last fight, I wasn’t very impressed with his performance against (Mitch) Gagnon and I think he actually looked worse. I don’t know if it’s the mental stuff getting to him or cutting too much weight, but I’m going to show that I’m a little too fast for him and he’s a little too slow and he’ll move up another weight class. That’s just my opinion.”
At one-time, Barao was considered one of the best of the best and ranked on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list as the best fighters in the promotion. Following their fight last May, Barao lost for the first time in ten years and his stock as one of the elite has fallen.
Now that Dillashaw is on top of the mountain in the bantamweight division, he plans to be not only on that list but near the top, which is no easy task.
“It’s time for me to look at that pound-for-pound list and be the best fighter in the world. Not only my weight class but in the world. I set goals as high as possible and there’s no reason I couldn’t achieve it. The goal is to be champion until I retire.”
The UFC on Fox 16 will be held on July 25, 2015, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The main card will air on Fox while the co-main event will air on Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.