T.J. Dillashaw will look to shock the mixed martial arts (MMA) world this Saturday night (May 24, 2014) at UFC 173 when he faces current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight title older, Renan Barao, in the main event of the pay-per-view (PPV) card.
While most of the MMA community likely has Dillashaw as a heavy underdog against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, his friend and training partner, Uriah Faber, says his Team Alpha Male stablemate has a good chance at dethroning the champ.
By being the faster, more technical striker and keeping his emotions -- including that dark, hidden temper of his -- in check.
"The California Kid" broke down the main event title fight on a recent edition of "The MMA Hour:"
"I think he wins that fight. The reason I'm not being biased is because I fought T.J. and I fought Barao. I know it's a very tough fight either way. Barao is amazing. I think the biggest difference will be this: Barao is a bigger guy than T.J., I think T.J. is going to be a little bit faster and he has a temper. Not a lot of people know that, because he's a mild-mannered guy on the outside, but T.J. is really, really mean. I have to watch him in the corner and make sure he's not cheap-shotting guys in the corner. He's dirty, but in a good way, for the fight game. He's one of the only guys that would like to fight like he does in the cage, in the practice room with full elbows and knees. But, I think T.J. keeps his composure and he's the better wrestler. I think at this point, he is the most technical and faster striker. Barao has some real power moves and dangerous submissions. But, if T.J. is composed the whole time and becomes hard to hit, then he will win the fight. If he gets too emotional and gets kind of crazy, then he is going to put himself in danger."
While it's nothing new to have your close friend pick you to win in a fight, Faber is adamant he is being unbiased in his pick, seeing as how he's fought both of them -- T.J. in training -- and has witnessed firsthand the skills each man possesses.
Of course, Barao has a tendency to make world-class fighters look like mere amateurs once the cage door slams shuts. But Dillashaw, for one, isn't going to let that scare him, as the confident fighter doesn't plan on backing down one bit.
It's all a part of testing the champ's suspect cardio.