UFC 177: TJ Dillashaw stops late replacement Joe Soto in fifth round in Sacramento
Last Updated: 02/09/14 9:31am
TJ Dillashaw successfully defended his bantamweight championship at UFC 177 with a fifth-round stoppage of Joe Soto – the 24-hour notice replacement for Renan Barao.
A head kick two minutes into the final round ended Soto’s resistance after four and a half rounds of close action although Dillashaw was never in danger of losing his belt.
The conclusive finish was an ideal way for Dillashaw to thrill his hometown crowd in Sacramento, California who had been earlier disappointed by the news of Barao’s withdrawal.
The Brazilian experienced problems with his weight-cut on Friday resulting in a shocking change to the main-event – Barao’s contention for the championship was also lost and he is not expected to receive another immediate title shot.
Soto, a UFC debutant with a career record of 15-2, was plucked from the evening’s three-round preliminary fights and thrust into the five-round headline bout with the champion.
The change took Dillashaw from winning an all-time great upset to gain the title in May to an overwhelming favourite to defend it on Saturday night.
Although Soto endured Dillashaw’s attacks gamely he clearly tired as the clock ticked and couldn’t continue after the fifth-round kick to the head.
Also at UFC 177, Tony Ferguson beat Danny Castillo by decision and Bethe Correia stopped Shayna Baszler.