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Morning Report: T.J. Dillashaw: ‘The UFC is paying me ‘a f*ck-load of money to move down and kill the 125-pound division’

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TJ Dillashaw Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

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.


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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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