Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC 173 blew the roof off the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, last Saturday night (May 24, 2014).
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Jake Ellenberger -- who was stopped in the third round by Robbie Lawler (recap) -- and Dan Henderson -- who once again saw his title fight hopes dashed after getting choked unconscious by Daniel Cormier (video).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now 48 hours removed from the show?
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion looked to add to his hot streak of 33 straight wins and three consecutive title defenses by taking out T.J. Dillashaw in the main event of the evening.
Unfortunately for Barao, "The Viper" came out like a man possessed, dominating the five-round championship fight from the onset.
In round one, Dillashaw clobbered Barao with a perfectly placed right hand which floored the scrappy Brazilian. Despite Renan surviving multiple submission attempts, it was all downhill from there for a wobbled Barao as T.J., the man who only thinks he's a striker, outclassed one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, one who is known for laying out the best of them with his hands and kicks, for the remainder of the bout (video highlights).
Dillashaw looked like a world-class stand-up specialist by dominating Barao with surprising ease in the striking battle, landing at will and taking Barao out of his comfort zone and doing what the ex-champ usually does to his foes, and that's make them look like mere amateurs.
After every punch landed, Dillashaw's confidence only increased, going as far as doing his best Ali shuffle in a few instances, while Barao kept looking for that one well-placed, fight-ending bomb to land.
It never came.
Dillashaw continued to have his way with Barao round after round, thanks to the Dominick Cruz-inspired footwork and head movement and the new striking techniques he learned from Duane Ludwig, before forcing a referee stoppage in the fifth and final round.
The first such loss for Barao.
While some in the fight community were surprised by Barao's performance against such a massive underdog, perhaps feeling like he didn't look like his normal self inside the Octagon, the fact of the matter is, the Team Alpha Male member simply took the fight right out of Barao with the devastating right hand he landed in round one.
The Brazilian never seemed to recuperate. He not once landed a crushing shot of his own, missing on all of his combinations, and looking like an Octagon rookie against a man who was supposed to be just another stepping stone on his path to greatness.
Now, Barao will be forced to begin a new win streak, one that will likely never match the one he was previously on. And a fight and win against Dominick Cruz, the former division champ whom Renan replaced as division kingpin, could be just what the doctor ordered.
The long-awaited contest would answer a lot of questions, but one of them won't be who the real 135-pound champ is.