Dillashaw and Cejudo are slated to collide this Saturday on ESPN+ in the champion vs. champion main event of UFC Brooklyn. The fight will be contested at 125 pounds, giving Dillashaw the opportunity to become the fourth-ever simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history. But the UFC’s reigning bantamweight king has never before dropped down to flyweight, and Cejudo — the current UFC flyweight champion — feels like Dillashaw may be learning the hard way how difficult it is to cut those extra 10 pounds.
“Personally, I think he looks like Pee-wee Herman if you ask me,” Cejudo said of Dillashaw on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “In the physique way, I really do feel like he looks like Pee-wee Herman. … I thought he’d have a little more bulk to him, but I guess not. He’s not looking so well. It looks like he needs a cup of water. He looks like a cross country runner.”
Dillashaw’s cut down to flyweight has drawn concern from some pockets of the mixed martial arts community in the lead-up to UFC Brooklyn. The 32-year-old has long maintained that a drop to 125 pounds would be doable for him, although he weighed close to 150 pounds in his most recent bantamweight title defense against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227.
Many recent examples of high-profile fighters dropping down a weight class over the past few years have been unsuccessful at best, or frightening at worst. In one memorable case, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis said he ballooned up to 205 pounds after a disastrous cut to featherweight led to him being hospitalized. And in fact, all three concurrent two-division champions in UFC history — Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, and Amanda Nunes — captured their second belt by moving up a division, rather than down.
Asked about his opponent’s current state, Cejudo said he “100 percent” believes he’ll be fighting a “diminished” version of Dillashaw at the Barclays Center. He indicated that Dillashaw may have bitten off more than he could chew by pushing for the champion vs. champion fight to be at 125 pounds, and noted that Dillashaw’s first cut down to flyweight could effect a variety of factors such as his cardio, chin, and ability to take body shots.
“All of that’s going to be on the menu. All of that. Everything you just said is going to be on the menu,” Cejudo said.
“Whether he makes weight or not, we’re fighting Saturday night, so he can do whatever he wants to do. But anybody could say they could make weight. If you’ve never cut weight [to 125 pounds] — I know what it feels like to make that weight, any true flyweight knows exactly what it feels like to cut an extra 10 pounds. He’s going to feel it Saturday night, and I’m looking to expose him.”
Cejudo also scoffed at Dillashaw’s ambitions of moving back up two divisions to featherweight after UFC Brooklyn and challenging 145-pound champion Max Holloway.
“I think he’s ridiculous,” Cejudo said. “I think that weight cut has really taken a toll on him, that’s what I think. He can’t think straight.”
Cejudo, 31, has made headlines of his own with his physique in the lead-up to UFC Brooklyn, although for very opposite reasons than Dillashaw. While Dillashaw has appeared to be feeling the effects of his flyweight cut in recent social media posts, Cejudo has looked to be in the best shape of his life. The Olympic gold medalist said he is feeling better than he even did before his stunning UFC 227 upset over Demetrious Johnson and he expects to shock the world once again by halting Dillashaw’s pursuit of history before it ever starts.
“I’m showing you guys what a true flyweight looks like,” Cejudo said. “Not depleted, nice and strong, that’s getting ready to take over the world. A lot of that I would give credit to my neuroscience team, NeuroForce1. Everything that I do is all based on technology and science, and I have never felt so good. At the age of 31, I feel like I’m in my prime, baby. I’ve never felt so strong.
“I’m locked in, cocked in, whatever you want to call it. This dude is going to get it. He’s messing with my division. He’s trying to take my belt. He’s trying to snatch my dream. T.J. Dillashaw is going to be my perfect example,” Cejudo continued.
“A lot of people are talking about, ‘Oh, I’m the champ champ. I got two belts. Blah, blah, blah.’ I just want to let you guys know that T.J. is fighting the champ champ. He’s fighting the Olympic champ and the current UFC flyweight champ that beat the greatest fighter of all-time, and I’m the champ champ. Just FYI, I’m the true definition of champion. I’m the Olympic champ, UFC champ. I’m one of one. Nobody in the UFC could ever say that. Nobody in the history of the world could ever say that. I’m the true champ champ. I want you to put this title: ‘The real champ champ, Henry Cejudo, one of one.’”