So what I'm doing here is examining the record of a fighter in detail, as well as doing a little basic analysis of their opponent's records. All data is from the Sherdog fighter database and I'm only considering professional fights. I'm using total career records instead of the records at the time of the fights because 1) It's so much easier and 2) I think it's a better representation of overall opponent quality.
Who'd he fight?
defeated Czar "Little" Sklavos ( 9-3) at KOTC – Legacy by UD on 3/26/10. This was both fighter's debut
defeated Brandon Drucker (0 – 2) at Fight For Wrestling 1 by Sub(RNC) in R1 on 5/24/10
defeated Mike Suarez (1 – 3) at Rebel Fighter – Domination by Sub(RNC) in R1 on 10/2/10
defeated Taylor McCorriston (8-6) at Capitol Fighting Championships by TKO in R3 on 11/20/10
lost to John "The Magician" Dodson (16 – 6) at TUF 14 Finale by TKO in R1 on 12/3/11
defeated Walel "The Gazelle" Watson (12 – 7) at UFC on Fuel 1: Sanchez vs Ellenberger by UD on 2/15/12
defeated Vaughan Lee (14 – 10 – 1) at UFC on Fuel 4: Munoz vs Weidman by Sub(Neck Crank) in R1 on 7/11/12
defeated Hugo "Wolverine" Viana (8 – 1) at UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs Melendez by TKO in R1 on 4/20/13
lost to Raphael Assuncao (22 – 4) at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs Shields by SD on 10/9/13
defeated Mike "The Hulk" Easton (13 – 5) at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Philippou by UD on 1/15/14
Math Math Math
In his 12 fight career, TJ has faced fighters with a combined record of 142 – 55 – 1 – 1. Those he beat have a combined record of 104 – 45 – 1 – 1. Those he lost to have a combined record of 38 - 10.
His average opponent has a 12 – 6 record. The average fighter TJ has beaten has a 10 – 5 record, while the average figher he has lost to has a 19 – 5 record.
TJ has won 83% of his fights, while his opponents have won a combined 71% of their fights. The fighters he has beaten have won 69% of their fights. The fighters who have beaten him have won 79% of their fights.
What does that mean?
I think the most interesting thing about Dillashaw's record is that the people he has lost to are, on average, much better then the people he's beaten. In fact, let's travel back in time to April and see what that does to the numbers: TJ's beaten fighters had a combined record of 72 - 43 - 1 for a winning percentage of only 62%. It's safe to say that until his last fight, TJ Dillashaw had lost every time he faced an elite level fighter. His best win was against a rapidly declining Mike Easton, and he showed every sign of becoming another hot prospect who flew too high too soon and never fully recovered.
Of course, the reason I'm writing this about TJ Dillashaw is that he took another step up in competition, the biggest possible step, and won. Renan Barao, arguably the #1 pound for pound best fighter in the world, got dominated. Somewhere in the eight months between loosing to Assuncao and facing Barao, TJ had crystallized his potential into world-class actual ability.
The Numbers Say: TJ Dillashaw got real good real fast.