Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight kingpin TJ Dillashaw may already have his first title defense lined up following a "five-round ass whooping" against Renan Barao at the UFC 173 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month in Las Vegas, Nevada (highlights).
And it's none other than ... Renan Barao.
The Brazilian will "probably" get an immediate rematch against "The Viper," simply because he was so dominant, for so long. That's according to comments made by UFC President Dana White at the UFC 174 media scrum in Vancouver (via MMA Junkie):
"[Dillashaw's next fight] probably will be the Barao rematch. Tell me if I'm wrong. I think we sat there and we started looking through the list of guys to fight T.J., and there is a list of guys, which is a great thing, but how do you not give it to Barao, the guy who was undefeated all those years? I agree he got a five-round ass whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not give him the rematch? And who doesn't want to see it? When you watch that fight last time, people were losing their minds because nobody saw that coming. They go in there and put on an unbelievable war. Is that not what you want to see again?"
That depends on who you ask.
Raphael Assuncao sits at number three in the "official" UFC rankings (see them here) and is currently riding a six-fight winning streak. But more importantly, he already holds a win over Dillashaw, and would undoubtedly love to replicate that performance to capture the crown.
Maybe next time.