Before the UFC 174 weigh-ins in Vancouver on Friday, White spoke with reporters and said that a rematch between Dillashaw and Barao will likely happen next.
“It (Dillashaw’s first title defense) will probably will be the Barao rematch,” said White. “I think we sat there and we started looking through the list of guys to fight T.J., and there is a list of guys, which is a great thing, but how do you not give it to Barao, the guy who was undefeated all those years? I agree he got a five-round ass whooping and got finished, but how does it make sense to not give him the rematch? And who doesn’t want to see it?”
Dillashaw dethroned Barao as the UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 173, entering the fight as a huge underdog before putting on a clinic and stopping the long-time champion in the fifth round.
The news has to be disappointing to Raphael Assuncao ho defeated Dillashaw last October in a controversial split decision. Assuncao has been heavily campaigning for a shot at Dillashaw since he won the bantamweight championship. Now, it looks like he will have to wait a little longer.
White admitted that there are other juicy matches in the division as well, including a possible bout between Barao and Dominick Cruz. Another is what could be the biggest bout in the division between Dillashaw and his close friend and Alpha Team member Urijah Faber.
“They’ll fight each other tomorrow,” White said. “Trust me. That fight is one of the other ones that could happen too.“Imagine we do the Barao fight and it sets up all these fights. We’ve got Dominick Cruz in there, as well. Guess what: Everything we’re saying is a home run.”