Last week, rumors began circulating that, with the departure of former champion Demetrious Johnson, the UFC intended to shutter the 125-pound division by next spring. Multiple UFC flyweights corroborated this rumor, announcing that they had been released by the organization, ostensibly due to the impending removal of the division. Now, the UFC bantamweight champion has all but confirmed the reports.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN yesterday, T.J. Dillashaw told Helwani that for his upcoming flyweight title fight with Henry Cejudo, he’s essentially a button man for killing off the 125-pound division.
“The UFC wants to get rid of the division and they hired me to go down and close it and get another belt in the process,” Dillashaw said.
“It’s a win-win for me. They’re paying me a f*ck-load of money to move down and kill the 125-pound division and collect a second belt. So, it’s game time.”
But while all signs point to the UFC dissolving the flyweight division after the Cejudo-Dillashaw superfight, there has still been no official word that that’s the plan. Over the weekend, UFC President Dana White even suggested that they are “working on some things right now with that division” though he didn’t elaborate on what those things are. But for Dillashaw, it all seems pretty clear once he beats Cejudo.
“It seems like I’m gonna take it over, man,” said Dillashaw. “I mean, if I’m the champ in both weight classes, why even have it? All the attention is at 135 anyway so at the end of the day, make the guys that they believe should stick around, come up and challenge for the belt.”
Dillashaw has been campaigning for a flyweight title fight since 2017, when an injury forced then bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt to pull out of their bantamweight title fight. Instead of waiting on Garbrandt, Dillashaw wanted a fight with flyweight king Demetrious Johnson who wasn’t keen on fighting a man who had never made 125 pounds before. Ultimately, that bout never came to fruition but the idea stuck around, and when Cejudo beat Mighty Mouse at UFC 227, the idea gained new life. Now that the fight is on the books, Dillashaw says he has no doubt he will make the weight, and when he does, he’s going to add to his legacy by being the last man to hold the UFC flyweight title.
“I’m already starting the process, already working on it,” said Dillashaw. “It’s gonna be better this way, anyway, because there’s no excuse. No excuses that I’m the bigger man, that I’m bigger when I’m fighting him. Because I’m gonna come down and make the weight.
“I believe we’re on the same weight, anyways, I’m a small 135’er. I’ve got no problem making 125. It’s gonna be a little more work, I’m gonna be a little more dedicated and be in better shape. So I’m excited for the opportunity. Like I said, it’s a win-win for me. I’ll continue to grow my legacy, get another belt, and be the last flyweight champion ever.”
T.J. Dillashaw challenges Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight title on Jan, 26 at UFC 233 in Anaheim, Calif.
The MMA Hour.
Yair detailing his numerous injuries.
Yair vs. Korean Zombie.
Izzy got the remix treatment.
The Co-Main Event. Looking back at UFC Denver and the 25th anniversary of the UFC.
Wonder Twins. Discussing blood chokes, and rehydration after weight cutting.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Tito with the old school belts is pretty dope.
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.@UFC 25th Happy Birthday! Thank you fans, @LorenzoFertitta , #FrankFertitta and @DanaWhite . You guys helped change my life forever. It was almost like getting a masters in business and marketing. Became a UFC World Champion after competing only two years. I learned what hard work and dedication could get me and I’m very thankful for that! I only dreamt what I could become but now it’s a reality. I could never be who I am if it wasn’t for Dana and Lorenzo taking a gamble ,so ! #ufc25years #5xdefendingufcchamp #dedication #determination #discipline #liddellortiz3
Taking the loss well.
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Drillers make killers. We fine tuned so many things in my fight game. We did not work or drill offensive ground control and strikes from top. If I drill and flow my jiu jitsu offensive top game the way I worked on my kickboxing flow I’ll be ripping limbs off and landing effective G&P my next match. Off to get my black belt ✊ congrats to @cowboycerrone for breaking an arm to break all the records last night. Stepping stone for me. I learned a lot and am more dangerous from it already ✊ thank you
Poirier’s timetable for return.
I'm thinking late February/March https://t.co/hvJyCihNs8— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) November 12, 2018
Someone smarter than me tell me if this is photoshopped or not.
A damn cool poster.
#UFCmilwaukee— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) November 12, 2018
It sux when you have to dumb down your skillset to help your teammate prep for his next opponent . But issokay, it's for the greater good. Let it never be said I ain't hold it down for my squad!!#Hangman #CityKickboxing #CityMMA #09 pic.twitter.com/wp0Mdv7TaR
Remember when TJ Grant had a title shot and then just never fought again? MMA is wild.
Coach @TJ_Grant and @keladesmma keeping sharp! Come try out a free week of unlimited martial arts classes, Muay Thai & BJJ(Gi & no Gi), with a former UFC #1 contender. Special runs until the end of November. #trainlikeapro #mma #muaythai #bjj #ufc pic.twitter.com/mL9xG4NtA6— PROEDGE (@proedgetraining) November 12, 2018
Kaitlyn Young (8-9-19) vs. Sarah Patterson (5-4); Invicta FC 32, Nov. 16.
Robert Whittaker (20-4) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (15-3); UFC 234, Feb. 9.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
Remember when T.J. joined the fighter’s association, like, two years ago because he didn’t like being screwed over by the UFC? Welp, now he’s relishing in putting people out of work. This is why a fighter’s union is never gonna happen.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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Dillashaw won’t even make weight