TJ Dillashaw Fires Away At UFC Bantamweights, Wants Henry Cejudo At 125

TJ Dillashaw Fires Away At UFC Bantamweights, Wants Henry Cejudo At 125

UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw wants Henry Cejudo at flyweight and declares Aaron Pico a future world champion.

Oct 11, 2018 by FloCombat Staff
TJ Dillashaw Fires Away At UFC Bantamweights, Wants Henry Cejudo At 125

By Josh Sanchez

TJ Dillashaw reclaimed the UFC bantamweight championship with a second-round TKO over rival Cody Garbrandt Nov. 4, 2017, at UFC 217 in New York. He then retained his title by scoring a first-round knockout over Garbrandt in a rematch Aug. 4 at UFC 227.

With that chapter of his career behind him, Dillashaw (16-3) is now looking for the opportunity to set up a super fight. 

One fighter Dillashaw has locked in on is UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who stunned the mixed martial arts world with a win over longtime titleholder Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227. Cejudo issued a challenge to the bantamweight champion for a potential super fight, and Dillashaw was willing and confident. 

There’s a catch, though. He wants the fight to be at 125 pounds so he has the opportunity to become a two-division champion. 

“I’ll shut that guy down in Round 1," Dillashaw told FloCombat during a recent interview at the UFC headquarters in Las Vegas. "I’m a way better fighter than he is and I can go out there and prove it, and I want to do that in his weight class." 

But a bantamweight picking on a flyweight? That's not a great look, right? 


Cejudo had trouble making the flyweight limit throughout his career, and Dillashaw is currently as light as he's ever been. To Dillashaw, this is important to note.

"You know, I don’t want the excuse of me being the bigger man because I’m not," Dillashaw said. "Right now I’m walking around at under 150. Guarantee he’s as big as I am. And also if I go out and beat him at 135 it’s always going to be like, 'Oh, he’s bigger than me.’ F*ck that. I’ll beat you at ‘25. I’ll beat you at ‘45. I beat anyone everywhere.

“You want to show up with your gold medal and say you’re the best combat [athlete] of all time? I call bullshit. I['ll] go out there and beat you in a wrestling match in MMA.”

There has been some talk, however, about the UFC’s plans to make the fight at bantamweight. While Dillashaw would prefer the fight at flyweight, he’s willing to put his belt on the line if the UFC gives him a proper pay day. 

“If they make it worth my time, absolutely. I don’t think he deserves it," Dillashaw said. "I’m the one that deserves the double belt. I’m the one who’s ranked No. 3 on the pound-for-pound list. 

“Who is Henry Cejudo? He’s never even defended a belt. Same as 'Who is Cody Garbrandt?’ He never defended a belt. I have to go out and continue to prove myself. I lost my belt to a split-decision loss, proved myself for two years as the No. 1 contender, and finally got it back. Like, who is this guy? I’ll go down and whoop his ass at ‘25 because that’s the way it makes the most sense, but if they make it lucrative for me then I’ll fight him at 135.”

If the super fight does not come to fruition, there are plenty of options for Dillashaw in his own weight class. Former champion Dominick Cruz, who took the belt from Dillashaw after a close decision in January 2016, is one name that often pops up, along with Marlon Moraes, who is currently on a three-fight winning streak.

But while you could make a case for either challenger, Dillashaw believes they should fight each other to determine a true No. 1 contender while he chases a second UFC title. 

“[Cruz] is being a little bitch, man," Dillashaw said. "Like, you’ve been sitting out for two years. He got his ass whipped, then he’s going to sit out for two years saying he’s ‘injured,’ and now that I’m looking for a contender he’s all of a sudden ready? He’s going to pass up murderer’s row and not have to fight any of the top guys but then get a title shot? I find that to be chicken shit.  

“Come out there, fight Marlon Moraes, prove that you deserve a shot at me, and then I’ll give it to you. Same with Marlon Moraes. He lost to [Raphael] Assuncao not too long ago; both of those guys want a title fight, so prove who is number one while I get my second belt and then we’ll talk.”

Part of Dillashaw's ability to stay at the top of his division comes from the hard work he has been putting in the gym with his super stable of fighters, including Cub Swanson, in California. The Treigning Lab also routinely welcomes 21-year-old super prospect Aaron Pico, who is widely regarded as one of the most promising talents the sport has ever seen. 

And if you ask Dillashaw, he is nothing but impressed with Pico’s skill set and work ethic, and that sets him up to have all of the makings of a future champion in the sport. 

“That guy’s going to be a world champion in no time. His loss [happened] in his very first fight, at lightweight, but still he’s better than that guy,” Dillashaw said.  “He got thrown to the wolves right away, fluke thing, but that guy is instantly a world champ. I guarantee that he’s the hardest worker. 

"I mean, I’m the most competitive guy that I knew until I met Aaron Pico. He’s at another level. That guy is very impressive and he will be a world champion in no time.”

Watch the full interview, where Dillashaw picks his favorite UFC fighter, tells us what he'd be doing if he wasn't a fighter, breaks down his favorite video game and pro wrestler, and much more below: