"I believe T.J. [Dillashaw] thinks he is a striker now, and he isn't. I think he will mess up and make mistakes in this fight, and this will present the chance for me to finish him. I'm very calm and ready for this fight, and I believe I will win this fight because I'm the better fighter."
Under the tutelage of Duane Ludwig, T.J. Dillashaw has gone from a mere wrestler (NCAA Division-1 level) to a very good striker. Look no further than his back-to-back knockout wins over Issei Tamura and Hugo Viana earlier this year for proof. There's just one problem: "The Viper" isn't as good a striker as he thinks he is. That's according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion, Renan Barao, who tells Bleacher Report that Dillashaw's confidence in the stand-up department is going to be his downfall when the two 135 pounders collide this weekend (May 24, 2014) at UFC 173 from The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Renan's title. Well, that and the fact that Barao is simply a better fighter than the Team Alpha Male product, according to the champ. Nevertheless, Dillashaw will look to make Barao eat his words as he hopes to end his unprecedented 33-fight winning streak and capture the division crown in the process. But will T.J. have a better chance at accomplishing his goals if he avoids engaging in a striking battle with Barao?