Photo of T.J. Dillashaw by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.
Dillashaw came oh so close to winning TUF 14 before running into John Dodson, who handed him his first defeat. Tonight was his chance to win for the first time under the Zuffa banner. Watson, meanwhile, is 1-1 in his short UFC career but always brings the heat.
Except for when he's being stifled by a far superior grappler.
Indeed, Dillashaw opened the fight with a superman punch he was using simply to get Watson to the mat where he would dominant for 4:17 of the opening round. There wasn't much difference in the final two and by the time all was said and done, "The Viper" had earned a dominant unanimous decision victory by scores of 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26.
It was that bad, Maniacs.
Dillashaw wasted little time throwing a superman punch designed to give him room enough to grab Watson up and not let go. Knowing your own strength is key but knowing where your opponent is most dangerous is perhaps even more vital to success.
Hence the early lay-n-pray game plan from T.J.
Of course, lay-n-pray can quickly turn into something far more effective, like a rear-naked choke submission, which is what Dillashaw did. Unfortunately (for him, at least), he wasn't able to finish the fight with it.
Not the first time. Not the second time a short while later. Watson showed some sick submission defense in the first round. He lost the first five minutes in as decisive a fashion as possible but he didn't get finished.
Small victories and all that.
It's no surprise, though, that the second round featured a whole lot of the same action we saw in the first. Dillashaw was aggressive without being reckless, simply overwhelming his opponent with a mix of top control, solid positioning and unrelenting punches.
It was a beating. Like the biggest brother stomping on the littlest brother until dad shows up to stop the insanity. Except the dad never showed up for this one.
It went to the third and Watson showed signs of life by threatening briefly with a guillotine. Fat lot of good it did him, as he ended up on his back with Dillashaw in side control. He got back to his feet, mind you, but Dillashaw was even winning the standing exchanges.
They battled it out some more on the ground before the final horn sounded.
The UFC's stats showed that Dillashaw landed 172 strikes to just 12 from Watson. That's the kind of fight this was, folks.
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