First off, let it be known, I think former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao is still one of the best fighters in the division and even though he wasn’t recognized as a superstar, that didn’t make him any less of a fighter.
That being said — after Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw put on a Rocky type performance — if Dillashaw keeps winning, I believe he’ll be the star that Barao was never quite able to be.
An 8-1 underdog, I can’t recall anyone (myself included) that gave Dillashaw a chance. Heck, all the media already had his head on a platter for Barao who hadn’t lost since 2005.
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But all that came to a screeching halt, where TVMix called the fight round-by-round live and saw firsthand history in the making.
Now with the American holding the bantamweight title, will this help turn him into a star?
Dillashaw is a true California kid — blonde hair, Cali looks, style, and those that speak English are able to understand him without the use of an interpreter.
None of that is a knock to Barao, who is Brazilian, born and raised there and uses an interpreter for all of his English interviews.
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However, perception can mean a lot at times; the difference between a great fighter who has no connect with an audience, or a good fighter that can capture the masses.
It’s too early to tell how good Dillashaw is. He’s 10-2, with losses to Rapahel Assuncao and a knockout loss to the smaller flyweight John Dodson. That was one of the reasons why Dillashaw was such a huge underdog to Barao — his record, along with the little body of work.
But, if the Northern California champ can put together a string of wins, with two or three; I think he can be an overnight superstar. Yes, overnight.
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Many questioned why Dillashaw was even in the same Octagon as Barao, in a fight where he basically shocked the world.
But with a convincing TKO over Barao, his stock has shot through the roof, and with perception being key, it may only take one to two fights for him to gain the celebrity as those in the heavier divisions, which was something Barao was never able to do.
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