UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barão II

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to pay-per-view Saturday with UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barão II.

The 10-fight card will come live from Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., with combat commencing at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The headline bout sees the eagerly anticipated rematch between UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barão, the man he took the title from back in May.

To get you ready for the action, Betting Sports brings you a rundown of the event’s two main fights.

(c) T.J. Dillashaw vs. No. 1 Renan Barão

UFC Bantamweight Championship Bout

Just three short months ago, T.J. Dillashaw shocked the world with a dominant performance against then-UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão.

Dillashaw dominated the Brazilian en route to a fifth round TKO finish. The performance, and the result, made the world stand up and take notice of the 28-year-old Californian.

Now, Dillashaw (10-2-0, 6-2-0 UFC) will look to prove his performance of the night outing at UFC 173 was no fluke.

Barão (32-2-0, 1NC, 7-1-0 UFC) entered May’s bout on the back of a nine year, 33 fight undefeated streak. Now, he’ll look to not only wash away the rare taste of defeat, but to also go some way to erasing the memory of a performance far below the expectations of a man considered by some to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Taking the title back will be a difficult task though. Not only will Barão be up against the champion, he’ll also be up against a partisan Sacramento crowd. Dillashaw, who was born in nearby Sonoma, Calif., currently fights out of Sacramento with Team Alpha Male. He won his only previous bout in the city back in 2010.

Of course, hometown crowds have been known to distract some fighters, so Dillashaw will need to remain focused on the matter at hand, forgetting about friends and family that might be in the building, and concentrating on getting the better of the prolific Barão.

Quick rematches are rare in the UFC. Fight trilogies are even rarer, so Dillashaw should be aware that losing the belt could start a long wait for another shot, especially with former champion Dominick Cruz readying himself to return to the title fray next month.

Expect this one to be a fast-paced, hard-fought battle between two fighters that really want to win.

Odds: Dillashaw (-165), the defending champion, is favored over Barão (+135) to win this one.

Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo

There weren’t too many people that benefited when UFC 176 was axed. Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo were two people that did.

Ferguson and Castillo were expected to compete way down the bill in Las Vegas on August 2, but the cancellation of the pay-per-view events and the rescheduling of their lightweight fight means the two Californians will now square-off in a co-main event bout.

A native of Oxnard who fights out of Ventura, Ferguson (15-3-0, 5-2-0 UFC) fought his first 12 professional MMA fights in the Golden State. Saturday night’s contest will mark the first time he’s fought in California under the UFC banner.

4-1 since returning to lightweight, The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 winner owns recent victories over Mike Rio (submission) and Katsunori Kikuno (KO), and will look to make it three wins on the bounce when he takes to the Octagon on Saturday.

San Francisco-born Castillo (17-6-0, 7-3-0 UFC) also began his career in California, compiling a 6-2 record in the state. The 35-year-old, who fights out of Sacramento, may be hesitant about his homecoming though, having lost both times he’s fought in the city. His last bout in the city saw him lose in a fight of the night encounter with Edson Barboza last December.

Castillo rebounded from that loss with a second round knockout of Charlie Brenneman at UFC 172 in April. He’ll be hoping for a second straight win, and a place in the lightweight division’s top 15, after his clash with Ferguson.

Odds: Ferguson (-265) is favored over Castillo (+205) in the bout, and is considered the heaviest favorite on Saturday’s entire card.

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Below you’ll find the fight card in its entirety, complete with odds for each fighter. (Click to enlarge)

UFC 177 begins with early preliminaries, which will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass from 7:30 p.m. ET.

The preliminary card will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The main card will be broadcast on pay-per-view, starting at 10:00 p.m. ET.

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