The UFC odds that 177 will be better than 176 are pretty good. For starters, the August 30 card does have a title bout in the TJ Dillashaw – Renan Barao rematch, in which the latter will attempt to reclaim the bantamweight championship that the former took from him at UFC 173 on May. Raphael Assuncao was expected to be named number one contender for the title -and in fact has already beaten Dillashaw before- but it was Barao who got the nod from Dana White, as well as the chance to exact a measure of revenge on the man who he might see as his nemesis.
After all, the Brazilian hadn’t lost a single fight since his debut on 2005, and the only bout he did not win between then and losing the bantamweight championship was when Claudemir Souza hit him with an illegal soccer kick on December 2007 and the fight was declared a no contest. Before his lost to Dillashaw, Barao was believed to be one of the best pound-for-pound MMA fighters, UFC and otherwise. That’s not to say that he isn’t anymore, but he will have to prove it by taking the belt from the Sonora, California native.
As for Dillashaw, his victory over Barao has been called one of the biggest upsets in the history of the promotion by UFC betting specialists. Now it’s up to the 28-year-old to prove that it was no fluke win and that he’s not a flash in the pan. Dillashaw is certainly not a fly-by-night opportunist, as his record shows. However, it is a testament to Barao’s impressive run that TJ may still be the underdog even though he’s the champion and decisively defeated the former champ. One thing’s for sure though, and it’s that even though this is the only scheduled bout so far for UFC 177, the eventual card will no doubt fare so much better than UFC 176. That is unless they cancel 176, which would only strengthen 177 even more. And Jones – Gustafsson will come after that, so there will be good times aplenty.