T.J. Dillashaw says he is a better athlete than Renan Barao

USA TODAY Sports

Team Alpha Male's T.J. Dillashaw says that he is relieved that he's not fighting Renan Barao in Brazil.

T.J. Dillashaw talked to Combate.com before his bout against Renan Barao at UFC 173 for the bantamweight belt, and he's pretty confident. This is the second defense of the undisputed UFC 135-pound title by the Brazilian after his TKO win on February, against Dillashaw's training partner Urijah Faber, at UFC 169. Here's what Dillashaw had to say about Barao:

He is a great fighter, very dangerous, he is explosive and definitely will be a tough fight. I just believe that I'm a better athlete than him. I see everything that Barao can do and I know that I can rise to the occasion and I have nothing to lose. I know that I have to deal with all of the weapons that he brings to the game. He is good in all areas but I'm ready for him.

Dillashaw also commented on the repeated bouts involving members of Nova Uniao and Team Alpha Male.

I do feel a little bit of pressure. I can tell that it's more excitement than pressure. They are an excellent team with great fighters and we also have great fighters. It's healthy to have this rivalry and it's not like we hate each other.

The title contender also shared his feelings about the fight not being placed in Brazil.

I'm relieved about not fighting in Brazil. It's going to be good to fight where my family and friends can watch and I won't have to cross a continent and adapt to the time zone. I love Brazil, I have nothing against the country, but I think that I won my fight against Assunçao. I have lost in a split decision, I think the judges scored badly, and I had the feeling that I was being robbed. It's going to be good to fight in Las Vegas because it's a neutral territory.

After his split decision loss to Raphael Assunçao last October, Dillashaw beat Mike Easton via dominant unanimous decision win on January at UFC Fight Night 35.

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