T.J. Dillashaw has been fighting for the UFC since December 2011. During that time he has gone 5-2, most recently earning a unanimous decision over Mike Easton in a three round fight on January 15 of this year. That win secured Dillashaw the No. 5 ranking in the UFC's bantamweight division. It also set him up to face the division's champion, Renan Barao in the main event of UFC 173.
It was believed that Barao would face No. 3 ranked Raphael Assuncao in his next title defense, but Assuncao was unable to take the fight on short notice due to lingering injuries. Barao's recent wins over No. 1 ranked Urijah Faber, No. 2 ranked Michael McDonald and No. 4 ranked Eddie Wineland put Dillashaw next on the UFC matchmakers call list.
When that call came, Dillashaw gladly accepted and he was slotted to face Barao, a man that has not lost a fight since he made his professional MMA debut in 2005. Over the course of his career, Barao has gone 32-1-0-1.
That, Dillashaw said on a recent edition of MMAJunkie radio is the perfect selling point for the fight, "I'm going to beat the guy that has the longest win streak in MMA history."
When asked how he plans on adding a second check mark in the loss column for Barao, Dillashaw replied, "I think the way to beat him is an all around game. You have to bring everything to the table to beat the guy."
UFC 173 will take place on May 24 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.