SACRAMENTO - UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and his challenger Renan Barao toured the Capitol City in preparation of the UFC returning to Sacramento for UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena on August 30th.
The fight gives Dillashaw who trains in Sacramento and grew up in Angels Camp a chance to make his first title defense in his hometown.
"It is going to be an amazing feeling to see how loud Sleep Train is going to get. All my friends and family get to come and I get to show off," Dillashaw told News10. "And I'm happy to fight the guy I just demolished while it is fresh in his head, let's just hit repeat."
Dillashaw (11-2) won the belt by pulling off one of the greatest upsets in UFC History. Barao (34-2, 1 NC) came into the bout on a nine year 35-unbeaten streak until he lost by a 5th round TKO in May
"It was like slow motion, everything felt slow because it perfect," Dillashaw told News10. "The game plan went to a "T", everything went so smooth, I couldn't have wrote a better story myself."
News10's Ryan Yamamoto talks to UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw about defending his title in a rematch with Renan Barao at UFC 177 in Sacramento on August 30th.
Dillashaw controlled the fight for all five rounds and nearly finished Barao in the first after he landed a hard straight right to his opponent's jaw.
"He dictated the fight with that first punch," said Barao. "It hurt me and I kind of went on automatic pilot from that point on. If it had been me punching him, the round would have been finished right then. My blow is a lot of stronger, I would have finished him off, but it was the other way around."
"That is a funny excuse to create," Dillashaw responded. "The goal is to hit someone really hard in a fight. It wasn't the fact I hit him hard, it was the fact his defense wasn't tight and he got beat, that's the point."
Excuses or not, Barao vows to reclaim the championship and bring the belt back to home country of Brazil.
"I'm here to take the belt back," said Barao. "I'm coming into his turf to take what's mine and I invite him if he wants the belt back to come to Brazil if he wants to come take away from me."
Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao talks to News10's Ryan Yamamoto in preparation for rematch with the current champion T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177 on August 30th at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
But Dillashaw plans a repeat performance of their first fight- a fight where he says he broke the former champion.
"I saw it in his eyes," said Dillashaw. "Just defeat, you learn it through wrestling, breaking someone, putting your will on someone and watching them crumble. And that is exactly how it is going to go on August 30th, too."
Dillashaw vs. Barao II as the main event at UFC 177 in Sacramento at Sleep Train Arena. Ticket go on sale on July 18th.
Also on the card, Sacramento's Danny Castillo (17-6) will fight Tony Ferguson (16-3) in a lightweight bout.