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Monday Morning Hangover: What's next for Renan Barao after second brutal loss to TJ Dillashaw?

Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC on FOX 16 blew the roof off United Center on Saturday night (July 25, 2015) in Chicago, Illinois (results here).

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Jessica Eye, whose title fight aspirations were cut short by Miesha Tate and her newly-discover powerful right hand (video highlights here). And Takanori Gomi, who was wasted by Joe Lauzon in the very first round (recap).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Renan Barao.

After a year of waiting complete with two cancelled fights in between, the Brazilian bomber finally got his much-desired rematch against TJ Dillashaw, the man who broke his 32-fight win streak and dethroned him from the top of the bantamweight mountain.

Aside from getting some sweet revenge, Barao looked to re-establish himself as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Sadly, redemption never came for Renan, as he suffered another beatdown to "Viper," who repeatedly put it on him, eventually clipping the Brazilian with a sneaky left hook that wobbled and set up the end for the former champ.

What followed was a sweet display of striking from the Team Alpha Male product, who was playing target practice by tagging Barao on any spot on his face he desired. That is, until Herb Dean eventually stepped in to put a stop to the beating.

See it again here.

As we've seen time and again, regardless of how dominant a fighter has looked throughout his or her career, there will always be kryptonite for Superman-like performances.

And it's happened to the best of them.

Just like Tito Ortiz couldn't get through Chuck Liddell, and Rich Franklin couldn't stop the rise of Anderson Silva, and more recently, the aforementioned Silva not having a solution for the riddle that is Chris Weidman; Barao, it seems, just doesn't have what it takes to get a "W" over Dillashaw.

With the loss, Barao finds himself at a crossroads, as the former 135-pound champion has some thinking to do before he steps into his next bout. While Dana White would like to see him go up to featherweight, I personally don't believe there's a need for him to do so just yet.

After all, should he move on to run the table and earn himself a shot at the featherweight title, he won't accept it, as his good friend and training partner, Jose Aldo, is the current division champion.

Of course, as long as TJ is champion at bantamweight, a third title fight between them seems unlikely.

Then again, just as Tito and Silva proved before him, you don't have to run out of the division to avoid a certain fighter. Sure, none of those two men ever vied for the title again after losing to the same champion twice, but who knows, Renan could be the first fighter to break that pattern.

A good launching pad to that goal would be a fight against Takeya Mizugaki, who is also looking for a way to right his ship after two consecutive losses. Because when you run down the list, there isn't ranked fighter below Mizugaki who makes sense for Renan at the moment.

Unless you're willing to sit through a trilogy fight against Urijah Faber?

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