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UFC 200 Fight Preview: TJ Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao

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This fight is going to be glorious. It is one of the most overlooked fights taking place this entire weekend. Former champion TJ Dillashaw gets a shot at a rematch with Assuncao who defeated him nearly 3 years ago in Brazil via Split Decision. Assuncao is on a seven fight win streak, defeating Dillashaw and highly ranked Bryan Caraway along the way. This fight is absolutely going to play a MAJOR role in determining who gets the next crack at Dominick Cruz and the Bantamweight Championship.

TJ Dillashaw put himself in superstar status, twice defeating Renan Barao and becoming the Bantamweight Champion. He lost his belt to Dominick Cruz via Split Decision back in January, and looks to rebound with a win here. He’d also love a win to avenge a 2013 loss to Assuncao. Dillashaw brings to the cage elite striking. He is very fast, and has tremendous takedown defense.

Raphael Assuncao is a durable fighter who brings with him a very capable submission game, having won nearly half of his wins via submission. For whatever reason fans have not embraced Assuncao like they have other fighters. He wins, time and again, but for whatever reason, he’s often overlooked and isn’t mentioned when talking about potential title fights. If he is able to win this fight, he will be impossible to ignore.

I am amazed that Dillashaw is the biggest betting favorite on this entire card. He is a talented fighter, for sure, but the difference here in skill, isn’t that wide, and Raphael Assuncao already beat TJ once. I can’t understand why the odds are so one sided. If Dillashaw can keep the fight standing, he wins. If Assuncao can press him against the fence and take TJ down, he wins. It’s going to be a good fight, and I see a VERY compelling back and forth fight here, with TJ winning a razor close decision.

Dan has been writing about the sport of MMA for the last 15+ years. During this time, he's met amazing fighters, and awesome friends sitting cage-side covering MMA. The memories and relationships are payment for his passion. Dan got his start as a featured writer for Sherdog.com and now serves as owner and co-host with Evan Shoman and Dion Harrison of The Crimson Canvas Podcast, on the Fight Booth Podcast network. Dan is also a part time contributor to FightBooth.com with pro wrestling, and MMA articles. He thanks Dave Reno for the opportunity and for years of friendship and support.

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