I'm still struggling to make sense of Barao vs Dillashaw. It seems everyone in the media is now making fun of Dana White for saying that Barao was the p4p#1 leading up to this fight... but I have to be a man about it and admit that I too considered Barao to be the best in the business right now. Whereas Aldo has largely become a safety-first points fighter and Bones Jones only asserted himself over Gus by the skin of his teeth (in his first fight with someone who can match his physical dimensions), Barao seemed to be the guy most likely to fill the Anderson Silva void, thrashing a succession of strong challengers with brutal and brilliant style. When I was predicting how Barao vs Dillashaw would go, the striking repertoire and power demonstrated by Barao in the Faber rematch was at the forefront of my thoughts. Faber has shown some excellent striking skills in recent years, most notably vs McDonald and Bowles, and no-one (including the pre-UFC super-aggressive Jose Aldo) in the past 6 years had been able to stop Urijah... and Barao just picked him apart and beat him down within 4 minutes. To me, these guys just seemed to be on two different levels. I figured Dillashaw was a good, solid, competent striker, but who'd been knocked out early by flyweight John Dodson, and had never really displayed Barao-level kickboxing abilities. So basically, what I am saying is, I've never been more shocked by how a fight has gone, ever. There have probably been some bigger upsets in MMA history, but personally, the very idea that TJ Dillashaw could utterly dominate a striking-heavy bout with Renan Barao for 20+ minutes and then knock him out... I just couldn't conceive of that. And in a way, I still can't. It doesn't really make sense to me. I'm not sure about the answers to any of these questions: - Did Barao take the massive underdog lightly? - Did he get hurt so badly in the 1st round he was a walking corpse for the rest of the fight? - Is Dillashaw just a much, much better striker and fighter than 90% of us believed? - Has Dillashaw's striking improved at a meteoric rate recently while working with Ludwig? - Did Dillashaw's gameplan just work perfectly vs Barao's style, but he may go back to looking mortal again vs an Assuncao or a Dodson? Or, is the way that MMA is structured and publicized now done so in a way that guys are presented as raw no-hopers in these fights, in an unfair and reductive manner? I'm thinking of this point in relation to the recent Chandler-Brooks fight, where another young starlet shocked everyone by winning vs an established elite level guy. Is the fact that young fighters without a Conor McGregor-like persona or gimmick are brought up in low-key undercard fights and never showcased to the wider MMA public, does this mean that we habitually underrate and under-value legitimate title contenders? I think this question deserves serious thought. -- Quick question to close - Obviously Barao and Aldo are different fighters, and obviously Dillashaw and Mendes are different fighters, and obviously no two fights are ever the same... but do you think the outcome of the Aldo-Mendes 2 fight could be similar to Barao-Dillashaw? Till now I figured Aldo would overcome some sticky early spots in the first round, and legkick his way to a decision, as per. But the Barao-Dillashaw fight really has shook me to my core, in terms of what I assume about fights. Is it really outside the bounds of possibility that Mendes could keep making Aldo think about an incoming takedown, and then hurt him with punches? Mendes showed serious power in the Guida fight and in other recent bouts, and I remember Aldo getting caught with a fair amount of clean punches in the last 2-3 rounds of the Edgar fight. I'm starting to wonder..