T.J. Dillashaw believes he has one key area in his favor when he faces Renan Barao for the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 173 in May.
Dillashaw and Barao will square off from Las Vegas on May 24. The bout was created after Chris Weidman was forced off due to an injury.
Outside of a loss to John Dodson in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 14 and a split decision defeat to Raphael Assuncao, Dillashaw has won five UFC fights, posting a 9-2 overall mark.
“He’s not that good moving backwards and he’s not a good defensive fighter,” said Dillashaw, during an interview with UFC Tonight. “I think my cardio is better and I think I can put everything together a little better than him.”
Dillashaw saw first-hand what Barao can do in two victories over his Team Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber.
“(Faber) got caught,” Dillashaw said, of the second loss by his friend. “It’s MMA and anything can happen. You can’t stand in front of him. He’s a big guy and hits hard.”
Team Alpha Male is also undergoing some staff changes, as Duane Ludwig is leaving to open his own gym in Colorado. The decision doesn’t sound like it will have an impact on Dillashaw – other than forcing more travel.
“I’ll cross-train with Duane and go to Colorado and he says he’ll come out for my fight camps,” Dillashaw said. “I’ll get the best of both worlds out of this.
“(But) I’m Team Alpha Male. I’m with my partners to the end. They’re my family and I’ve grown up with them.”