UFC 158 fight card primer: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Issei Tamura

Esther Lin, MMAFighting

The Bloody Elbow team previews all 12 fights taking place at UFC 158 tonight in Montreal, including this bantamweight fight between TJ Dillashaw and Issei Tamura.

The 2nd and final bantamweight bout at UFC 158 in Montreal, Canada is a matchup between TUF 14 finalist T.J. Dillashaw (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Japan's Issei Tamura (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Originally, Tamura was due to fight Canadian Mitch Gagnon, but Dillashaw replaced Gagnon after he announced he was injured and unable to compete.

This new matchup has Dillashaw as the overwhelming favorite, and based on his last two performances, you can probably figure out why. Dillashaw/Tamura and two other fights air live on Facebook at approximately 6:40 PM ET/3:40 PM PT. Once that broadcast is over, switch to FX at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT for the rest of the prelims.

How do these two stack up?

Dillashaw: 26 years old | 5'6" | 66" reach
Tamura: 28 years old | 5'5" | 63" reach

What have these two done recently?

Dillashaw: W - Vaughan Lee (SUB) | W - Walel Watson (UD) | L - John Dodson (TKO)
Tamura: L - Raphael Assuncao (TKO) | W - Zhang Tiequan (KO) | L - Guy Delumeau (MD)

How did these two get here?

Dillashaw is a member of Team Alpha Male, home to the likes of Urijah Faber, Danny Castillo, and Chad Mendes. He advanced to the 135 lbs final of TUF 14, only to lose to John Dodson by TKO. He's impressed since then, with a mauling of Walel Watson and a neck crank submission over Vaughan Lee. Dillashaw was slated to face Mike Easton at UFC on Fox 5 in December, but he was injured in training and pulled out of the fight. Now he finds himself not only used as an injury-replacement, but he's the overwhelming favorite.

Tamura (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) filled in for Leonard Garcia against Zhang Tiequan at UFC 144 in his home country of Japan. He knocked out Zhang in the 2nd round, just his 2nd KO win of his career. A few months later in San jose he fought Raphael Assuncao, but this time he was on the wrong end of a 2nd round strikes stoppage.

Why should you care?

Dillashaw has dominated his last two opponents, and if he can make it 3 here it's possible that he gets a bigger test in the 135 lbs division.

SBN coverage of UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz

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