Opinion…Should Barao get an immediate rematch? I say absolutely NOT

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Commentary/Opinion
Tags: ,

dillashawbeltTo rematch or not to rematch? That’s the question coming out of the insane upset at UFC 173. The coach of former champ Renan Barao is already asking for an immediate rematch with new champ T.J. Dillashaw. Normally, I’m open to the two top guys squaring off inside the cage, but in this case, if I was in charge, I’d tell Barao to go sit in the waiting room until we call you name.

I think there are a few good reasons to have award a fighter an immediate rematch. First, if the fight was marred by a controversial decision. Among others, we saw this with Frankie Edgar beating BJ Penn in their initial bout; and again when Edgar lost to Ben Henderson in a razor thin call.

Second, a shocking ending. Matt Serra’s crazy knockout of Georges St-Pierre certainly qualifies under this heading; as does Chris Weidman’s upset over Anderson Silva last year. The third acceptable reason to grant a fighter an immediate title rematch is the scenario that the fight was just so damn good, we HAVE to see it again. Strangely, there’s no real precedent for this category, although you’d think there would be.  All the fights I want to use as an example also fall into one of the other two groups. So we’ll have to call this one a distant third on this hypothetical list.

I think this weekend’s fight with Dillashaw and Barao falls into none of these categories. Dillashaw not only picked up an 11th hour stoppage, but he also completely dominated the entire fight. Barao had his brief moments, but overall, I didn’t score a single round for the reigning champ (for the record, 2 of the 3 judges agreed with me—only one judge award Barao the 2nd round).

There was no questionable decision; there was no fluke knockout; and while Dillashaw looked amazing and the fight was exciting as hell, this was NOT a back and forth affair. This was a one-sided beatdown, similar to the Daniel Cormier drubbing of Dan Henderson earlier in the night.

Some might think that giving Barao an immediate rematch showed respect for the prior dominance he showed in the division. I say it shows a serious lack of respect for the guy who beat his ass. Almost like the matchmakers want to right a wrong. Look, if Barao is the top contender now, he’s also going to be the top contender in 8 or 10 months. Let Dillashaw have a chance to defend his belt against one of the other top 135 pounders in the UFC. It just seems wrong to force the rematch immediately.


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