T.J. Dillashaw will defend the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s bantamweight champion for the first time at UFC 177 when he takes on the man he snagged the belt from, Renan Barão. The two will close out the month of August for the promotion at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., while flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will look for his fifth consecutive title defense when he collides with Chris Cariaso in the co-main event of the Aug. 30 card.
Here are my UFC 177 predictions:
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barão (bantamweight title fight)
Dillashaw (10-2-0, 4 KOs) couldn’t have looked any better when he dethroned Barão (32-2-0 14 submissions) earlier in the year, beating the Brazilian at his own game. T.J. used his footwork to nullify Renan’s offense, while landing many hard shots throughout out the fight. Dillashaw rocked Barão hard during the opening round, and he finished off the job during the final round.
Barão should be able to make some adjustments and put on a better effort during the rematch, but he likely won’t be able to overcome the fact Dillashaw, who will have the crowd behind him, is simply the better MMA fighter.
Prediction: Dillashaw wins via decision.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso (cancelled)
Cariaso (17-5-0, 3 KOs) will be in for the toughest test of his MMA career when he takes on Johnson (20-2-1, 7 submissions) at UFC 177. Mighty Mouse has been extremely dominant since he secured the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s flyweight strap, dispatching a host of opponents who were all more accomplished than Cariaso.
Despite his respectable striking skills and takedown defense, Cariaso is going to have a hard time lasting 25 minutes inside the Octagon with Johnson.
Prediction: Johnson wins via submission.
Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
A potential “Fight of the Night” winner, expect fireworks when these two collide. Both men are respectable wrestlers, but I have to give the edge to Ferguson (15-3-0, 9 KOs). “El Cucuy” also has the edge in the striking department, along with a five-inch reach advantage.
Castillo (17-6-0, 6 KOs) is certainly more than capable of knocking Ferguson out with a hard shot, but the latter is more likely to land the first big shot.
Prediction: Ferguson wins via TKO.
Remaining UFC 177 predictions:
Bethe Correia defeats Shayna Baszler
Carlos Diego Ferreira defeats Ramsey Nijem
Derek Brunson defeats Lorenz Larkin
Ruslan Magomedov defeats Richard Odoms
Damon Jackson defeats Yancy Medeiros
Anthony Hamilton defeats Ruan Potts
Henry Cejudo defeats Scott Jorgensen
Cain Carrizosa defeats Chris Wade
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
Don’t forget to check out my UFC 177 FightPicks after weigh-ins. Up +20.61 units so far this year. Thanks to all those who paid tribute after the record setting UFC Fight Night 40 picks that earned + 12.71 units.