Fighter of the Month May 2014 – TJ Dillashaw
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month: T.J. Dillashaw
Event: UFC 173 (May 24, 2014)
Opponent: Renan Barao
Result: TKO (Head Kick and Punches), 5th Round
There were some amazing performances last month. This decision was not an easy one. From Daniel Cormier running a clinic on Dan Henderson to Matt Brown putting on a thrilling bout with Erick Silva. Then you have T.J. Dillashaw, who was hard-pressed to defeat Renan Barao in the first place. But he did, and he did so in stunning fashion.
From the first round, you could see the calmness in Dillashaw. There was no fear in him. He knew he had this bout. When he caught Barao in the first round with a punch, from that point on it was never the same. Barao could never muster much offense, and Dillashaw continued to demonstrate why the betting lines are a draw on luck.
His quickness and footwork was Dominick Cruz-like and it kept him away from the dangerous kicks of Barao. Even when he could have cruised to a decision, Dillashaw decided to finish his opponent in the fifth and final round to capture the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Just when everyone was ready to announce Barao as the Floyd Mayweather of the UFC, Dillashaw defied the odds.
For an astonishing win over a tough opponent and putting on a master class performance, PunchDrunkGamer.com would like to reward T.J, Dillashaw our Fighter of the Month recognition for the month of May 2014! Congrats on the new belt champ. We look forward to you defending it soon!
1. Daniel Cormier (UFC 173 – May 24, 2014) – Daniel Cormier is unstoppable. This guy is the real deal at light-heavyweight. He could have stayed at heavyweight but down at 205lbs he is just as dangerous if not more. His speed and strength is just as powerful and he proved that in his ransacking of Dan Henderson. He tossed the former PRIDE and Strikeforce Champion around with ease and finished him with a rear-naked choke. Cormier is the light-heavyweight division’s greatest threat to the champion at this moment.
2. Matt Brown (UFC Fight Night : Brown vs. Silva – May 10, 2014) – Things could not have started off worse for Matt Brown against Erick Silva. He was caught with a vicious kick to the body and crumpled under the pressure of it. But the heart of Brown is worthy of a lion, and he came back from the depths of defeat to put on the best performance of his career. Elbows wouldn’t put the durable Erick Silva away, but Brown kept up the pressure and the Brazilian eventually wilted under the amount that Brown was giving him. With his victory, Brown became the dark horse in the welterweight division but a surefire contender nonetheless.
3. Errol Zimmerman (Glory 16: Denver – May 3, 2014) –Zimmerman continued to prove why if you are not watching GLORY, then you have some issues. There are very few places where you will find this much unadulterated action. He defeated Ben Edwards in the first round with two knockdowns and finished Anderson “Braddock” Silva. What could have been a retirement final performance, Zimmerman may have given his best.
4. Will Brooks (Bellator 120 – May 17, 2014) – It may not have been the best looking performance of his career but it was a workmanlike one that makes for the best eye-openers for young prospects like Brooks. He survived the fifth round to defeat Michael Chandler. This is no easy feat but capturing the Bellator interim lightweight championship is a deserving reward.
5. Daron Cruickshank (UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva – May 10, 2014) – Erik Koch was easily supposed to be Daron Cruickshank’s toughest opponent. But it appeared that Cruickshank forgot the memo. He took his best to Koch early on, and it all started with a head kick. Punches finalized the bout and Cruickshank has officially made himself a worthy contender at 155lbs.
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